Allsvenskan: Malmö FF | Team Preview

The defending Swedish champions, Malmö FF, will open their 2017 Allsvenskan campaign by face rivals IFK Göteborg at Ullevi Stadium, which has a capacity of 43,000 on April 1st.


Malmö FF is a football club in Sweden, which is based in the city of Malmö. The city is located in the southern parts of Sweden, which also is the third largest city in the country.

Malmö FF were crowned the Swedish champions for the 19th time by winning the 2016 Allsvenskan. They have also qualified for the second qualifying round of the 2017/2018 UEFA Champions League.

The Swedish champions, Malmö FF, managed to grab 66 points in 2016 Allsvenskan, which was six points more than second-placed AIK. Malmö FF won 21 and drew three matches. Nevertheless, they suffered six defeats in that season as well.

They managed to score 60 goals, the best goalscoring record in the league that year. Malmö FF did concede 26 goals. Malmö FF’s best goalscorer in 2016 Allsvenskan was the Icelandic striker Vidar Kjartansson with his 14 goals. Magnus Wolff Eikrem was crowned the 2016 Allsvenkan’s assist king after providing 15 assists.

GENERAL INFORMATION
– Founded: 1904
– Ground: Gamla Ullevi (Capacity: 18,416)
– Chairman: Frank Andersson
– Coach: Jörgen Lennartsson

CLUB HISTORY
Malmö FF was formally founded on February 24, 1910 and the first chairman of the club was Werner Mårtensson. The club arose from a municipal initiative in 1905 to encourage young people in Malmö to play organised football. One of the youth teams, Bollklubben Idrott, also known simply as BK Idrott, was a predecessor to Malmö FF. BK Idrott joined the newly created football department of IFK Malmö in 1909, but soon left because of issues between the two clubs.

Malmö FF started the most successful decade of their history with a Swedish Championship title in 1970. Malmö FF won Allsvenskan in 1970, 1971, 1974, 1975 and 1977 as well as Svenska Cupen in 1976 and 1978. Winning the 1977 Allsvenskan season made Malmö FF to qualify for the qualified the 1978/1979 European Cup (UEFA Champions League), and after victories against AS Monaco, Dynamo Kyiv, Wisla Krakow and Austria Wien, they reached the final of the competition, which they played at Olympiastadion in Munich against Nottingham Forest. Trevor Francis, who scored the only goal of the match, made the English side to win the final with one-nil. Nevertheless, the 1979 European Cup run is the biggest success in the history of Malmö FF. The team were given the Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal the same year, awarded for the most significant Swedish sporting achievement of the year, for their achievement in the European Cup.

Malmö FF were shockingly relegated from Allsvenskan in 1999. Hans Cavalli-Björkman was succeeded as chairman by Bengt Madsen in 1999, and former player Hasse Borg was contracted as Director of Sport. These operational changes, as well as the emergence of young talent Zlatan Ibrahimovic, led them to the return to Allsvenskan in 2001.

Zlatan Ibrahimović rose to fame and became an important player in the club’s campaign to return to the top league. He was later sold to Ajax in 2001, before playing for several European giants such as Juventus, AC Milan, FC Barcelona and Manchester United.

The return to Allsvenskan was the start of the successful early 2000s, under the management of Tom Prahl, when the club finished in the top three, three times in a row. In 2004, Malmö FF won Allsvenskan, the club’s fifteenth Swedish Championship. In 2005, the club reached the last qualifying round for the UEFA Champions League but were defeated by FC Thun. Successful sponsor work and player sales also made Malmö FF the richest club in Sweden, a position they still hold as of 2013. The club moved from Malmö Stadion to Swedbank Stadion in 2009, a stadium built entirely for football and located next to the old one.

In 2009, Madsen announced that he would step down as chairman, and was replaced by Håkan Jeppsson early the following year. In 2010, the club marked their 100th anniversary with many celebratory events at the beginning of the season. On the day of the club’s 100th anniversary in 2010, the Swedish football magazine Offside declared Malmö FF to be the greatest football club in Swedish history. The season became a great success as the club won Allsvenskan for the 19th time and became Swedish champions for the 16th time. Unlike in 2004, these successes were achieved without any major transfers before the season, and with a squad consisting mostly of younger players.

In October 2013, Malmö FF won their seventeenth Swedish championship and 20th Allsvenskan title in the penultimate round of the league away from home. Similar to 2010, the title was the result of a young squad. The average age of the squad, 23.8 years, was the youngest team to become champions since the beginning of the 21st century. The following year Malmö FF qualified for the group stage of the 2014/2015 UEFA Champions League by beating Ventspils, Sparta Prague and Red Bull Salzburg in the qualifying rounds. This was the first time the club qualified for the competition proper since the re-branding from the European Cup in the 1992–93 season and the first time since the 2000–01 season that a Swedish club qualified. In the following months Malmö FF defended their league title, winning their 18th Swedish championship and 21st Allsvenskan title. This was the first time a club defended the Allsvenskan title since the 2003 season.

The 2015 season saw Malmö FF failing to retaining the title and missing out on the top-four for the first time since 2009. However, the club managed to qualify once again to the group stages of the UEFA Champions League in the 2015/2016 UEFA Champions League edition. In October 2016, Malmö FF won their 19th Swedish championship and 22nd Allsvenskan title. The title was Malmö FF’s third in the span of four years. This resulted in the club surpassing IFK Göteborg in terms of Swedish championship titles, indisputably becoming the most successful Swedish football club of all time.

The club remains one of the dominant football clubs in Sweden. As of the end of the 2016 Allsvenskan season, the club are the leaders of the overall Allsvenskan table maratontabellen. Malmö FF are also the record holders for the total number of Swedish championships, Allsvenskan titles and Svenska Cupen titles.

ACHIEVEMENT

Allsvenskan
– Winners (22): 1943/1944, 1948/1949, 1949/1950, 1950/1951, 1952/1953, 1965, 1967, 1970, 1971, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 2004, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016.
– Runners-up (14): 1945/1946, 1947/1948, 1951/1952, 1955/1956, 1956/1957, 1964, 1968, 1969, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1996, 2002.

Division 2 Sydsvenska Serien
– Winners (1): 1920/1921.
– Runners-up (1): 1923/1924.

Division 2 Södra
– Winners (3): 1930/1931, 1934/1935, 1935/1936.
– Runners-up (1): 1929/1930.

Superettan
Runners-up (1): 2000.

Svenska Cupen
– Winners (14): 1944, 1946, 1947, 1951, 1953, 1967, 1972/1973, 1973/1974, 1974/1975, 1977/1978, 1979/1980, 1983/1984, 1985/1986, 1988/1989.
– Runners-up (4): 1945, 1970/1971, 1995/1996, 2015/2016.

Svenska Supercupen
– Winners (2): 2013, 2014.
– Runners-up (1): 2011.

Doubles
Allsvenskan and Svenska Cupen
– Winners (8): 1943/1944, 1950/1951, 1952/1953, 1967, 1974, 1975, 1986, 1989

European Cup/UEFA Champions League
– Runners-up (1): 1978/1979.

Intercontinental Cup
– Runners-up (1): 1979.

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