Brazil v Sweden

Friendly Match Emirates Stadium Wed, March 26, 2008. 7.45pm
 

By Chris Harris

Tonight's friendly between Brazil and Sweden will have a distinctive Arsenal flavour, and not just because the game is taking place at Emirates Stadium.

Gilberto and Freddie Ljungberg, if the latter shakes off an injury, will lead out their countries on familiar turf. Julio Baptista is also in the Brazil squad. Then there is the 22-year-old whose presence would be another feather in the cap of Arsenal's Academy.

Sebastian Larsson rose through the Club's youth ranks, made three first-team appearances and and played in the historic first game at Emirates Stadium, Dennis Bergkamp's testimonial in July 2006. However, the young Swede moved to Birmingham last summer after spending last season on loan at St. Andrews.

Larsson's fine form earned him an international debut against Turkey last month. And few would be happier to see Larsson win his second Sweden cap than his former manager, Arsène Wenger.

"Seb Larsson you can say is an Arsenal-educated player and he has had a great year," the Frenchman told Arsenal.com.

"I think he has been certainly Birmingham's most consistent player. What he has added to his game is that he is very efficient on crosses, on set pieces, and I'm very happy he will be in there.

"Everybody knows Freddie, he is someone who feels he plays at home at the Emirates because he is still in our hearts.

"As for Gilberto, Brazil always have this kind of player. They have had Gilberto, Mauro Silva and Dunga - and of course Dunga is in charge [of the Brazil national side] now.

"Among the artists they always have very efficient and intelligent players like Gilberto."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Chris Harris 26 Mar 2008