06/07/2018 13:31 BST | Updated 06/07/2018 14:17 BST

11 Titillating Tidbits Of Swedish Trivia To Know Ahead Of England's World Cup Quarter-Final

Who remembers 'Swedes 2 Turnips 1'?

If it is coming home, Sweden stands in the way.

England’s World Cup quarter-final encounter is with the last Scandis standing, and so it’s perhaps good to know your enemy.  

Here’s a fairly scattershot list of 11 things about Sweden, from football to its approach to personal taxation.

  • There's No Ibra To Worry About
    Ah, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Sweden’s all-time record goalscorer and a man so supremely full confident he'd probably join the Navy so the world could see him, not the other way round.
    Ibra is missing from the squad after international retirement, despite suggestions he would play at the World Cup following his move to the Los Angeles Galaxy.

    England and Sweden last played in a friendly on November 14, 2012, where the home side ran out 4-2 winners and Ibrahimovic scored all the goals – including this stunning overhead from about five miles from the goal.
  • WTF?
  • The Teams Generated This Classic Headline
    The Teams Generated This Classic Headline
    The Sun
    England football fans of a certain age will remember the clash with Sweden in the 1992 European Championship.

    It was miserable stuff. The Italy '90 heroics had made way for the dour, workman-like Graham Taylor regime. It was like Gazza's tears never happened, and the Sweden game captured the mood.

    England were dumped out of the tournament after a 2-1 defeat to the Swedes, sunk by a sumptuous Tomas Brolin goal. Perhaps most memorably, Taylor hauled off Gary Lineker, then England's second all-time leading scorer, when the scores were tied and England desperately needed a win. It would be the striker's last international game.

    The tabloid press did not take it well. The Sun's headline: Swedes 2 Turnips 1.
  • England's Record Is Not Great
    England's Record Is Not Great
    Damir Sagolj / Reuters
    As you might be gathering, the statistics do not make easy reading for England: just one victory over Sweden in the past eight matches.

    That came during the group stages of Euro 2012, where England ran out 3-2 winners in Kiev.

    Both of England’s games against Sweden in the World Cup finals have ended in draws, the last coming in 2006 where it finished 2-2 in Cologne (more of this later).
  • You Can See The Northern Lights From Sweden
    You Can See The Northern Lights From Sweden
    TT News Agency / Reuters
    Sure, but is the Aurora Borealis the Blackpool illuminations? No.
  • Emil Forsberg Is Sweden's Anti-Zlatan Star
    Emil Forsberg Is Sweden's Anti-Zlatan Star
    Lee Smith / Reuters
    Few Swedish players have the profile of Swedish starts of yore, but RB Leipzig attacking midfielder Emil Forsberg is the one England's scouts will be acutely aware of.

    Forsberg produced a fine performance in the last-16 match against Switzerland, his deflected shot enough to give the Swedes a hard-earned 1-0 win to reach the quarter-finals.
  • Pretty High Rates Of Tax
    Sweden: a social democrat's utopia or a dangerous left-wing experiment? Not for a lightweight football list to say.
  • That Joe Cole Goal
    It's not always tragic for England. Remember this Joe Cole pearler from the 2006 World Cup?
  • Boring Ikea Fact Here
    Boring Ikea Fact Here
    We've checked, and there are precisely zero interesting facts about Ikea.

    Ikea has sold more than 11.6 billion Swedish meatballs in the UK alone. Who cares?

    The only vaguely interesting thing about the flatpack behemoth is the scenes of carnage whenever a new branch opens on the British Isles.

    Thanks to MailOnline for this summary that could have doubtless been repeated across the UK.
  • Sven Goran Eriksson
    Sven Goran Eriksson
    PA Archive/PA Images
    The last time England were in a World Cup quarter-final they were managed by Sven Goran Eriksson - a Swede.

    Sven was the country's first foreign manager at a time when many felt there was a dearth of native coaches.

    The canonisation of Watford-born Gareth Southgate at this tournament - a manager largely over-looked at club level - suggests that was premature.
  • Amazing Pop Music
    Amazing Pop Music
    EMPICS Entertainment
    Every other list will include ABBA in this slot. But not us.

    Sure, after winning the 1974 Eurovision with Waterloo, the Swedish hit machine scored nine UK number ones and 19 top 10 hits.

    But they have also produced: Ace of Base, Roxette, Robyn (pictured), Europe, The Hives, Lykke Li, José González, Peter Bjorn and John and many more achingly hip artists.