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Sweden successfully defended last year’s title at the FIFPro Winter Tournament, a four-country competition for out of contract players.

The 2015 winners prevailed in a close final against Finland. Ireland secured third place with a narrow victory over Norway.

It was the sixth time that the professional footballers’ unions of Finland (JPY), Ireland (PFAI), Norway (NISO) and Sweden (SFS) organised the Winter Tournament.

Sweden and Finland reached the final at the Vallhall Arena in Oslo, Norway, after seeing off Ireland and Norway respectively. Finland has little trouble qualifying, as Team JPY were simply too strong for the team of Norwegian players union NISO: 2-0. Eetu Muinonen and Aristote Mboma both scored.

The semifinal between Swedish team SFS and Irish team PFAI went to penalties to decide on the winner. In regular time, the Irish appeared to be the better team, however they did not manage to score. In the penalty series, Sweden prevailed 5-3 thanks to heroics of goalkeeper Marcus Sahlman.

In the final, Sweden and Finland were evenly matched. The Finnish team created most chances, but also had trouble scoring. In the last minute, Sweden grabbed the victory. After a cross from Armin Aganovic, the ball ricocheted off a Finnish leg into the goal: 1-0.

Aganovic was named Most Valuable Player of the Winter Tournament. The 21-year old defender was clearly the best player in the team of coach Kjell Pettersson. The Swedish captain was always in the right spot to prevent opponents from scoring and was sound in organising his team’s defence.

Ireland finished third thanks to a 1-0 win over hosts Norway. Romanian player Marco Chindea (last year at Athlone Town) scored the match’s only goal.

 

For more information about the players, click here