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Sweden is the surprise winner of the 2015 FIFPro Winter Tournament, which was organised today – Thursday January 8th – in Oslo's Vallhall Arena, Norway. The team of Swedish players union Spelarföreningen (SFS) beat their Irish counterparts in the final.

For the fifth consecutive year, player associations from Finland (JPY), Norway (NISO), the Republic of Ireland (PFAI) and Sweden (SFS) held their FIFPro Winter Tournament, a one-day event for footballers currently looking for a new contract as a professional player. Up to 70 hopefuls gathered in Oslo aiming to impress the many scouts and coaches in the audience.

Finland was the favourite to conquer the 2015 title, as coach Tero Koskela arrived with a squad consisting of many players with experience in the Finnish premier league. Team JPY was also last year's winner. Sweden, on the contrary, only had slim hopes of a successful tournament ending as veteran coach Kjell Pettersson had to settle for a team with mostly players from his country's third division.

Nevertheless, it was Swedish captain Daniel Badjelan who received the cup at the end of the FIFPro Winter Tournament. In the final, Team SFS defeated Ireland 2-1. They had already secured a win against Norway in their first match (1-0).

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Against Norway, Marcus Hägg produced the only goal, a neat finish in the first half. The Norwegian hosts had a great opportunity to equalise in the second half, but failed to convert a penalty kick: they blasted the ball against the crossbar.

Ireland reached the final after a very entertaining match against Finland, with both teams making a good impression. The Irish team of coach Stephen Bradley twice took the lead. Daryl Kavanagh (Most Valuable Player of the first FIFPro Winter Tournament) opened the score in the tenth minute, and Eric Foley put Ireland up 2-1 in the 35th minute. But both times Aleksandr Kokko took care of the equalizer. His second goal was a thing of beauty: a bicycle kick that gave goalkeeper Adam Murphy no chance: 2-2.

Murphy would have his revanche though, as the Irish goalkeeper frustrated the Finnish players during the penalty shoot-out: 6-5.

The third place match was a deja vu for Finland, as they also lost this game on penalties after a 2-2 draw. Norway were slightly better in finishing from eleven meters (3-2).

In the final, Ireland took the lead thanks to a Connor Murphy header. Team PFAI appeared to be in control and on their way to their first tournament victory. Daryl Kavanagh almost doubled the lead, but he hit the post. But the Swedish players made a strong comeback. Impressive midfielder Daniel Badjelan equalised with a beautiful shot into the top corner (1-1), followed by a tournament winning free kick from Liridon Makkoli (1-2).

Finnnish player Aleksandr Kokko was named Most Valuable Player of the Winter Tournament (photo above).

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Click here for the results of the 2015 FIFPro Winter Tournament.