Gunnar Nordahl

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Gunnar Nordahl
Gunnar Nordahl.jpg
Nordahl playing for IFK Norrköping in 1948
Personal information
Date of birth (1921-10-19)October 19, 1921
Place of birth Hörnefors, Sweden
Date of death September 15, 1995(1995-09-15) (aged 73)
Place of death Alghero, Italy
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1937–1940 Hörnefors IF 41 (68)
1940–1944 Degerfors IF 77 (56)
1944–1949 IFK Norrköping 95 (93)
1949–1956 Milan 257 (210)
1956–1958 Roma 34 (15)
Total 504 (442)
National team
1942–1948 Sweden 33 (43)
Teams managed
1958–1959 AS Roma (player-manager)
1959–1961 Karlstads BIK
1961–1964 Degerfors IF
1967–1970 IFK Norrköping
1971–1973 IF Saab
1974 IK Sleipner
1975–1976 Östers IF
1977–1978 AIK Fotboll
1979–1980 IFK Norrköping
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Gunnar Nordahl[pronunciation?] (October 19, 1921 – September 15, 1995) was a Swedish football player, best known for his spell at A.C. Milan from 1949 to 1956, in which he won two Scudetto titles and an unprecedented five top scorer (Capocannonieri) awards, more than any other player in the history of the Serie A. He is generally considered one of the greatest Swedish football players of all-time. He is the father of Thomas Nordahl.

Biography[edit]

Club career[edit]

Sweden[edit]

Nordahl started out at Hörnefors IF in Sweden before moving to IFK Norrköping. He won four Swedish championships with Norrköping and once scored seven goals in one game. During his time in Swedish clubs, Nordahl scored 149 goals in 172 matches.

Italy[edit]

Nordahl transferred to AC Milan on January 22, 1949. Later, he would team up with his national team strike partners, Gunnar Gren and Nils Liedholm to form the renowned Gre-No-Li trio. Playing eight seasons with AC Milan, he is Serie A's multi-top-scorer a record five times (1949–50, 1950–51, 1952–53, 1953–54 and 1954–55). Nordahl is also AC Milan's all-time top-scorer, with 210 league goals. He is still the third-highest Serie A goalscorer of all time, with 225 goals in 291 matches. Only Silvio Piola and Francesco Totti have scored more goals in that division. That makes Nordahl the top goalscorer among non-Italian players, and he is also the most efficient goalscorer goals in Serie A ever with 0.77 goals/match. Only players who has scored more than one hundred goals are counted in this record,[citation needed] where for example Piola scored his 274 goals in 537 games, i.e. 0.51 goals/match.

After leaving Milan, Nordahl played for Roma for two seasons. He still holds the post-war record for the most goals in a season in Italy, with 35 goals 1949-1950. Nordahl, together with the mentioned Gre-No-Li is today legendary in Milan. When Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko scored his 100 goal in Serie A for Milan, it is said that some old Milanese supporters commented: "Well he can double that number, and then add another 26, then, and just then, he has passed Il Cannoniere."

International career[edit]

Nordahl was first called up to the Swedish national team in 1945. In 1948, he helped Sweden to win the Olympic football tournament, becoming the tournament's top scorer on the way. Nordahl's transfer to Milan forced him to retire from the national team, as the rules at the time prevented professionals from the Swedish national team, being not called to 1950 FIFA World Cup along his fellows Gren and Liedholm. In his 30 matches in the national team, he scored a total of 44 goals, or about 1.5 goals per game.

He won the Olympics along with his brothers Bertil and Knut Nordahl. Bertil also transferred to Italy after the Games (to Atalanta B.C.) and, due to this, was also not called to the World Cup. Knut stayed at Sweden and was called to the World Cup. After the tournament, he finally went to Italy, bought by AS Roma.

Domestic League statistics[edit]

Club Season League
Apps Goals
Hörnefors 1937–38 14 20
1938–39 14 25
1939–40 13 23
Degerfors 1940–41 17 15
1941–42 21 13
1942–43 20 14
1943–44 19 14
Norrköping 1944–45 22 27
1945–46 21 25
1946–47 20 17
1947–48 22 18
1948–49 10 6
Milan 1948-49 15 16
1949–50 37 35
1950–51 37 34
1951–52 38 26
1952–53 32 26
1953–54 33 23
1954–55 33 27
1955–56 32 23
Roma 1956–57 30 13
1957–58 4 2
Total for Milan 257 210
Career totals 504 422

Honours[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Omero Tognon
Milan captain
1954-1956
Succeeded by
Nils Liedholm