After spending much of 2019 in the spotlight as Arsenal’s interim head coach following the dismissal of Unai Emery, Swedish footballer Freddie Ljungberg is back on a more permanent basis.
Despite initial speculation that Ljungberg would be retiring from the sport for good, he has been kept on as the assistant coach for Arsenal, suggesting that the club’s management were more than impressed with his performance last year.
What few people know is that, despite his willingness to keep a low profile, Ljungberg is one of the most interesting figures in the game right now. Here are seven interesting facts that you probably didn’t know about Freddie Ljungberg.
1. He’s a Fashion Model
When Freddie isn’t on the pitch, he has been known to dip into the world of fashion, having modelled professionally for Calvin Klein and Nike. His work as the face of the world’s most famous underwear brand catapulted him to notoriety both in the UK and the US, where Ljungberg claims to have received excessive amounts of female attention due to his Calvin Klein ads.
2. He’s from the Land of Snus
Ljungberg’s home country of Sweden is famous for many things, such as IKEA and fika. Another thing that originates from Sweden is the popular nicotine product snus, which is seeing increasing popularity around the world. If you’ve never heard of it, you can click to see more information on what exactly Swedish snus is, but with more people in the UK are now buying snus online, you just might begin to see more of it in circulation.
3. He Almost Embarked on a Handball Career
While Freddie has attained near-legend status due to his long career as a footballer, things could have turned out very differently. When he was younger his real passion was for handball, to the extent that he was even recruited to a national handball team back in Sweden. However, he thankfully realized that football was his true calling in life, and soon switched to that.
4. He Got Married at a London Landmark
Ljungberg met his longtime partner Natalie Foster for many years and rarely talks about her in public. However, one thing we do know is that they got married at an intimate ceremony outside London’s National History Museum back in 2014, with many of Ljungberg’s Arsenal teammates in attendance. It is also known that Foster is a Tottenham Hotspur supporter; although we don’t know whether that causes some tension in the home.
5. He Had a Privileged Upbringing
While many of the star players in Arsenal’s long history have inspiring rags to riches stories, Freddie’s background is a little bit cushier. His father had a very high paid job as a civil engineer back in Sweden, allowing him to raise his children in the lap of luxury. However, Ljungberg insists that he had a tough work ethic instilled into him from an early age, something that has proved invaluable to his spectacular career.
Whether Ljungberg will return to a more prominent role in Arsenal in the year ahead remains to be seen. One thing that’s certain is that he is one of the most colourful characters to ever grace the Emirates Stadium.
Follow oohtobeagooner on Facebook and Twitter for more latest Arsenal transfer news, injury news, team news and rumours.