Date: 19th March 2007 at 12:50pm
Written by:

After a spectacularly successful poll this month on who has been the best foreigner to play in the Scottish League, it is clearly obvious that Henrik Larsson will not be knocked off the top spot.

Without a doubt the most popular poll this site has ever ran, even the partizan Dons fans who naturally visit the page could not see past the Swede to vote for former Dons hero Hans Gillhaus, with Henrik’s impact on our game being just too great to ignore.

Henrik had such an unbelievable career with Celtic and scoring 242 goals in 315 appearances (God knows how many against Aberdeen)and helping his team to 4 SPL titles, 2 Scottish Cups and 3 League Cups as well as many personal honours from football writers and fellow professionals.

It may have swayed many people to vote for him that he is the only player in the poll still playing today but that should not detract from his achievements and the standard of football he astonishingly consistently produced.

Whilst I’m no authority on the subject of Swedish football, he no doubt deserved his title of best Swedish Footballer in the Last 50 Years award as his match-winning Champions League final substitute appearance proved when he came on and turned the game around for his then club Barcelona. His performance prompted opponent Thierry Henry to admit ‘People always talk about Ronaldinho, Eto’o, Giuly and everything but I didn’t see them today – I saw Henrik Larsson. Two times he came on – he changed the game, that is what killed the game – sometimes you talk about Ronaldinho and Eto’o and people like that, you need to talk about the proper footballer who made the difference and that was Henrik Larsson tonight…’

His contribution for Manchester United cannot be overlooked either and even at the age of 35 he was a first choice pick over current international players but has now returned to Sweden to see out his career with Helsingborgs, prompting Sir Alex Ferguson to say, ‘He’s been fantastic for us, we tried everything we could to get him to stay longer, but he made a promise and you have to respect that’.

Whilst Henrik was up against some serious competition in this poll it is yet again another title he can claim albeit one less illustrious than an MBE, Champions League Winner, Golden Boot Winner, Spanish League Winner (x2), 3rd place with Sweden in the World Cup, an honorary degree as well as his Best Swedish Footballer Title.

After all that, Hans Gillhaus, Brian Laudrup, Claudio Cannigia, George Best and Paul Gascoigne can really have no complaints at following Henrik up, and in that order, in our poll.

Whilst each of them had a terrific impact on our game, none of them achieved anything like Henrik did during his time in Scotland and it’s impossible to think that a £650,000 signing or a player costing any amount ever will have again.

Well done Henrik!!

Please take our next poll which is an altogether more domestic affair which concentrates on the fortunes of Aberdeen this season.