Calvin Klein underwear and FA Cup hero – four facts you might not know about Freddie Ljungberg


Freddie Ljungberg has been appointed as Arsenal‘s interim head coach following the sacking of Unai Emery.
The 42-year-old made 325 appearances for the Gunners and managed their Under-23 side before becoming Emery’s assistant earlier this year.
Here, the PA news agency looks at some facts you may not know about the new Arsenal boss.
Brief Encounter
During his time as a player at Arsenal, Ljungberg’s extra-curricular activities included landing a contract to model Calvin Klein underwear.
He starred alongside Russian model Natalia Vodianova in 2006 after David Beckham had reportedly turned down the opportunity.
Ljungberg became the face of the campaign in both Britain and the United States and he later said his short-lived modelling career led to women routinely fondling him in nightclubs.
Hand over foot
It could have been an entirely different career for Ljungberg had he opted to take a route into another sport where he flourished – handball.
Along with football and ice hockey, Ljungberg highlighted his early success in the handball arena as somewhere he could have shone.
He was called up into the Swedish national side at Under-15 level but had to make a decision between handball and football and settled for the latter.
North London is wed
However long I oversee @Arsenal for I will give everything I have to put smiles on faces again. We have a busy few weeks ahead and the team needs your support. Let’s get to work!— Freddie Ljungberg (@freddie) November 29, 2019 Ljungberg married his long-term partner Natalie Foster at London’s Natural History Museum in 2014.
The pair tied the knot at the iconic location in front of some of Ljungberg’s former team-mates.
The fact Natalie is a Tottenham supporter may have caused some issues over the years, however.
Final score
In 2002, Ljungberg scored in a second FA Cup final in a row as he helped Arsenal to a 2-0 victory over Chelsea at the Millennium Stadium.
A year earlier he struck the opening goal in the final against Liverpool, only for Michael Owen’s late double to seal victory for Gerard Houllier’s side.
But Ljungberg’s feat saw him become the first man since Tottenham’s Bobby Smith 40 years earlier to find the back of the net in consecutive finals.
The golden boy
Ljungberg was twice bestowed with the honour of Sweden’s Guldbollen – or ‘golden ball’ – for being the best Swedish male player in a calendar year.
He was named as the winner in 2002 and 2006 and was the last man to be given the award before Zlatan Ibrahimovic collected the gong 10 years in a row.
Other players to win the award while playing in England include fellow former Gunner Anders Limpar as well as Stefan Schwarz, Magnus Hedman and Olof Mellberg while Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof has earned the trophy for the past two years. Sport360

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