Tomas Brolin (born 29 November 1969) is a Swedish former professional football player who played as a forward or as a midfielder. At club level, he had a successful period with A.C. Parma during the early 1990s, winning the 1992 Coppa Italia, the 1993 Cup Winners’ Cup, the 1993 UEFA Super Cup and the 1995 UEFA Cup.
Euro 1992 and World Cup 1990
At international level Brolin also played for the Sweden national team. Finishing third in the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Brolin was also a member of the Sweden squad beaten in the semi-finals at UEFA Euro 1992, as well as having competed in the 1990 World Cup.
Tomas Brolin was signed by Italian club Parma in 1990, just after the club had been promoted back to Serie A. He quickly formed an effective partnership at Parma with Alessandro Melli: The two together scored 20 goals, 13 from Melli and 7 from Brolin. Parma finished in joint fifth-place in their first season back in Serie A. It was the first time that the team qualified for Europe in their history.
Although a class act in his youth, in 2007 he was voted in at Number 2 in The Times poll of the “50 Worst footballers (to grace the Premier League)”, reflecting his dismal downturn in form after he signed for Leeds United in 1995.
His once glittering career never recovered after the transfer to Leeds United, and by the age of 28 he had retired from playing due to several injury struggles.
At UEFA Euro 1992, Brolin was joint top-scorer (three goals) with three others (Henrik Larsen, Dennis Bergkamp and Karl-Heinz Riedle); his goal against England did much to raise his profile.
World Cup 1994
Tomas Brolin went to the 1994 World Cup in the best shape of his career, at the age of 24. Despite having a talented group of players, however, Sweden was not predicted to go far at the World Cup in the United States. They scraped a draw with Cameroon in their opening game. Things improved in Sweden’s next game with Russia, with Brolin playing behind Martin Dahlin and the towering Kennet Andersson, as Sweden won 3–1.
In their final group match, Sweden drew 1–1 with tournament favourites Brazil after Brolin set up Sweden’s goal for Kennet Andersson, and reached the second round.
Brolin scored three goals for Sweden in the 1994 World Cup as the nation finished third in the competition. Brolin’s performances earned him a place in the competition’s World Cup All Star Team. In the quarter-final against Romania, he scored one of his most famous goals: When Sweden awarded a free-kick, everyone expected Stefan Schwarz to shoot. Instead, Schwarz jumped over the ball and Håkan Mild passed the ball past the wall to Brolin, who managed to score. He received his second Guldbollen award in 1994.
On 16 November 1994, at the Råsunda Stadion in Stockholm, Brolin broke his foot in a qualifier for Euro 1996. On 7 May 1995, a week after he had returned from injury. Brolin played for Sweden against Iceland, and scored a penalty but was unable to help his team to a much needed victory in their qualifying campaign.
In 16 April 1996, Brolin was then dropped by Swedish coach Tommy Svensson for a friendly against Northern Ireland in Belfast, and was quoted, “Brolin is not at 100 percent at the moment and it is difficult to say when he will be.” Brolin told Swedish news agency TT that it was the best for him, and the national side: “Right now I need to recover in order to get to the capacity needed to add something to the national team.”
In the end, Sweden did not qualify for Euro 1996. Brolin never played for his country again, but in the last five years he had been selected 47 times at senior level and scored an impressive 27 goals.
Winner (1): 1991–92
Runner-up (1): 1994–95
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup
Winner (1): 1992–93
Runner-up (1): 1993–94
Winner (1): 1994–95
UEFA Super Cup
Winner (1): 1993
FIFA World Cup
Third Place: 1994
Appearances: 1990, 1994
UEFA European Championship
Winner (2): 1990, 1994
UEFA Euro Golden Boot
Winner (1): 1992
FIFA World Cup All-Star Team
Winner (1): 1994
Fourth Place: 1994
Tags: Ballon-d’Or, World-Cup-All-Star-Team, Golden-Boot, Olympic-Games, European-Championship, Super-Cup, Sweden, Coppa-Italia, Parma, Winners-Cup, World-Cup-1990, World-Cup-1994, Euro-1996, Euro-1992