Season review: Sweden

Led by returning son Markus Rosenberg, Malmö FF became the first side to retain the title for over a decade while IF Elfsborg lifted silverware elsewhere this season.

Markus Rosenberg inspired Malmö with 14 goals in the league
Markus Rosenberg inspired Malmö with 14 goals in the league ©AFP/Getty Images

Malmö FF managed the rare feat of defending a Swedish title, wrapping things up with three league rounds remaining to win back-to-back championships. Chasing a first title since 2007, IFK Göteborg had to make do with second spot, ending above AIK Solna who looked the main threat to Malmö's crown for much of the season, while IF Elfsborg won the Swedish Cup for a third time.

Champions: Malmö FF
Before this season no side had managed to win successive league titles since Djurgårdens IF's pair in 2002 and 2003 but Malmö proved that it could still be done. Midway through the season coach Åge Hareide saw his team lose key players like Simon Thern and Guillermo Molins to long-term injuries as well as Miiko Albornoz who was sold to Hannover 96, but the vacancies were filled formidably by new recruits Enock Adu, Isaac Kiese Thelin and Anton Tinnerholm.

There were many big performers for the club but all were overshadowed by prodigal son Markus Rosenberg, who scored 14 and provided 15 assists after re-signing for his boyhood club from West Bromwich Albion FC in February. "It's about timing. You need to be free from injuries when you get back," Rosenberg told the current issue of Champions Matchday. "You cannot be too old and there needs to be room for you. That was all the case here for me. I came into a team that had already won the Allsvenskan."

Cup final: IF Elfsborg 1–0 Helsingborgs IF
Lasse Nilsson got the only goal of the cup final to secure a third competition success for Elfsborg, all of which have come since the turn of the century. Nilsson was the cup hero once again, his goal in 2003 helping the club to their second success over a decade ago. "We wanted to do this for Klas today, and we did," said Jan Mian, referring to then coach Klas Ingesson who had been forced to take leave as he battled cancer before passing away on 29 October.

European places*
Malmö FF – UEFA Champions League qualifying
IFK Göteborg – UEFA Europa League qualifying
AIK Solna – UEFA Europa League qualifying

* Subject to final confirmation by UEFA

Player of the year: Markus Rosenberg (Malmö FF)
After nine years in Europe’s biggest leagues, Markus Rosenberg came home to Malmö, the club he first joined at the age of five. The striker was instrumental in the team’s domestic title defence and in the UEFA Champions League which saw them make it to the group stage, his goals and leadership qualities taking the team to the next level.

One to watch: Lasse Vibe (IFK Göteborg)
A late bloomer, Vibe scored just twice in 14 games during his first season with IFK Göteborg in 2013 but the 2014 campaign proved much more productive for the Dane. With 23 Allsvenskan goals to his name, including three hat-tricks, the forward also won himself a first international cap at the age of 27.

Surprise package: Falkenbergs FF
Most experts thought the newcomers would enjoy just a one-year stay in the Allsvenskan but coach Henrik Larsson and his players had other ideas. A 13th-placed finish means there will be more top-level football in the west coast town next year, although former Sweden great Larsson will not be with them having stepped down at the end of the season.

Leading scorer: Lasse Vibe (IFK Göteborg), 23

Relegated: Mjällby AIF, IF Brommapojkarna

Promoted: Hammarby IF, GIF Sundsvall

Number: 40
The age of Åtvidabergs FF's Kristian Bergström when he scored midway through the second half of the last match of the season. Bergström's effort in the 2–1 win against Malmö – his sole goal the year – made him the league's oldest ever scorer.

Quote
"He had an incredible energy – a drive and a fighting spirit that others cannot even come near. Klas was a wonderful person."
Elfsborg captain Anders Svensson was one of many Swedes with fond memories of the late Klas Ingesson.

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