Why Lindelof gave up the Sweden armband

Monday 20 November 2023 21:46

Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof showed his class whilst on international duty for Sweden on Sunday evening, as he voluntarily gave up his captaincy.

The 29-year-old was named captain of his country back in August 2021, following Andreas Granqvist's retirement, and has led the Blue and Yellow out 17 times in total.

However, for a special reason, the United no.2 opted to relinquish his responsibilities in Sweden’s latest Euro 2024 qualifier, against Estonia. He gave the armband to Albin Ekdal, who was playing his 70th and final game at international level.

Ekdal has spent much of his Sweden career playing in the same side as Victor, and the pair were on the pitch together again as the Spezia midfielder bowed out fittingly with a 2-0 win.
Victor posted this photo via Instagram to help celebrate the international career of fellow Swede, Albin.

In a post on Instagram, Lindelof candidly wrote: “End of a great journey. It's been an honour my friend ❤”.

Ekdal himself was given a standing ovation after his substitution on 72 minutes in Stockholm, as he was replaced by Hugo Larsson.

Goals from Viktor Claesson and Emil Forsberg ensured a 2-0 victory at the Friends Arena for the hosts, with the armband eventually being returned to Victor as he played the full 90 minutes in the triumph.

Unfortunately for Victor and Sweden, they will not take part in Euro 2024 next summer after finishing third in their qualifying group.

Head coach Janne Andersson has also opted to step down, with his country having not made it to the finals of a European Championship for the first time since 1996.