Freddie Ljungberg is training hard with Sweden as they prepare for their opening Euro 2008 encounter against defending champions Greece on Tuesday night.
The West Ham United midfielder, who is working his way back to fitness after a rib injury, is hoping any of the club's fans travelling over to the finals in Austria and Switzerland will temporarily swap claret and blue for yellow and get behind the Scandinavian nation in their Group D campaign. "I would appreciate and welcome that," he said. "To be honest, when we play at home we have good fans but when we travel abroad our following is great. So if we can get some West Ham fans there too that would be even better. We would really like to see them."
As captain of Sweden, Ljungberg would be the man to lift the Henri Delaunay trophy should Lars Lagerback's men go all the way to the final in Vienna on 29 June. It may seem an unlikely prospect but then the same would have been said about their first opponents four years ago. "It is going to be an honour to lead my team out in the game and at the same time I am really looking forward to the tournament this summer. We can do very well. That is what we want to do."
Ljungberg is joined in the Sweden squad by some very experienced and exciting names - not least Lyon midfielder Kim Kallstrom and Internazionale forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Both men played major roles in their clubs securing the French and Italian titles respectively and, with veteran striker Henrik Larsson also in the mix, the attacking potential is there. The squad have been in action over the weekend at their camp in Lugano, with the media kept away and plenty of practice on defending set-pieces - the formula that took Greece all the way last time. Group matches against Spain and Russia follow on 14 and 18 June respectively.