Markus Rosenberg: A last match to remember

If Markus Rosenberg had the choice to plan his last appearance before his beloved Malmo FF club fans, he couldn’t have asked for a better scenario. The 37-year-old Swedish centre forward experienced some moments of magic last Thursday, during the Europa League group stage tie between Malmo and Dynamo Kyiv. His last match at “Swedbank Stadion” yearing the light blue jersey was sealed by his deep late goal, giving his team a well enjoyed 4-3 victory.

It’s a moment which will be remembered for the years to come: Malmo FF was trailing 1-2 in the first half of the crucial tie, as the Ukrainians tried to win to grab the second qualifying place of the group. Rosenberg equalized just a few minutes after the 2nd half start (48’) and his 96th minute goal, at the dying seconds of the game, placed Malmo FF into the second place with one more match to go, versus Copenhagen in nearby Denmark.

For a guy who started his career at the club at the age of five, this was a historic achievement. Rosenberg, a Malmo native, was a part of the successful football academy of the club in the late 80s and 90s. He made his senior squad debut at age 19 back in 2001, firstly as a right back, but his increased goal instinct placed his at the striker position and helped his make an impressive international career.

After spending two seasons at Amsterdam with FC Ajax, five in Bremen with Werder, one in Spain with Racing Santander and three in England with West Bromwich Albion, Rosenberg decided to spend his last active years at his hometown club, instead of trying to increase his bank account playing in the Middle East or Far East. This decision was well accepted by the club fans and administration, which gave him the captain’s armband almost immediately.

Rosenberg was a key figure to Malmo FF success over the past five seasons. Appearing at 156 matches with the club, he scored no less than 67 goals, winning two Allsvenskan Most Valuable Player of the year awards. He helped his team win two championship titles and appear for the first time in a Champions League group stage (he even scored twice in the club’s first win at this level, against Oympiacos Piraeus from Greece). His overall record with the club (99 goals in 226 matches) and in general (206 goals in 602 matches) places him into a small club of the most effective Swedish strikers of all time.

There’s still doubt if Malmo FF will continue their Europa League adventure in February. They have to win in Denmark to be sure or have at least the same result with Dynamo Kyiv. But this is not important for Rosenberg, as it was not important that Malmo FF finished second behind Djurgardens IF to the championship race, which ended a few weeks ago. He made a memorable exit instead.

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