Karl Fredrik "Freddie" Ljungberg (born
Sweden) is a Swedish international
football player playing for
FA Premier League side
Arsenal and sometime
underwear model for
He has also played
ice hockey and
golf. He currently resides in
London, and in
Halmstad when in Sweden.
Ljungberg joined Arsenal in
1998. He previously played for
Halmstads BK in Sweden, where he made 139 appearances and scored 16 goals. He goalscoring rate has improved significantly after joining Arsenal. Arsenal's manager,
Arsène Wenger, took the unusual step of authorising the signing of Ljungberg after watching him play for
Sweden in their defeat of
England on television, without making a personal scouting trip. It seemed a strange way to complete business, but he was hearing good things about the Swedish
midfielder; Wenger was believed to be just waiting to see how he would cope against English opponents. Ljungberg passed the test without difficulty and made a sensational debut scoring against
Manchester United (Arsenal's main rivals for the Premiership title), coming on the field as a substitute.
Many consider his "purple patch" of form towards the end of the 2001-2002 season crucial to Arsenal's
Premiership and FA Cup double;
Robert Pirès had recently been ruled out for months through a knee injury. Ljungberg came in and scored in most of Arsenal's remaining games, including a stunning finish in the
FA Cup final against
He is most comfortable in midfield; since the departure of
Emmanuel Petit and
Marc Overmars, Ljungberg has been a regular in Arsenal's starting lineup and has cemented his first team place. He has had to fight with constant injury problems and occasionally severe bouts with
2005 a mysterious persistent
hip injury led to fears he may have contracted
cancer, which were thankfully unfounded.
For Sweden, Ljungberg played at
Euro 2000, the
2002 World Cup, and
Euro 2004. He has appeared over 50 times for his country, scoring 8 goals.
As of October 22,
2005, Ljungberg has played 179 Premiership games for Arsenal, scoring 45 goals and making 24 assists. In the Champions League, he has played 48 games and scored 13 goals. He is currently the longest serving player in Arsenal, apart from Highbury legend
- 1998 Swedish FA prizes for "Best Midfielder of the year"
- 1998 Swedish FA prizes for "People's player of the year"
- 1998 Nominated for the Sexiest Men In The World
- 1998 6th in the Swedish handsome men contest
- 2000 Arsenal FC player Of The Month (January and February)
- 2000 Arsenal FC Dreamcast Player Of The Season competition came 2nd
- 2000 AFCi Awards "Most Improved Arsenal Player" for the 1999-2000 season
- 2000 2nd in AFCi Awards "Arsenal Player Of The Season"
- 2002 Guldbollen