STOCKHOLM (AP) — Andreas Granqvist was selected in Sweden’s squad for the European Championship on Tuesday despite only playing a full match once in the country’s second division this season.
Sweden coach Janne Andersson said he picked the 36-year-old center back, who captained the team at the 2018 World Cup, for off-the-field reasons as much as what he could do on it.
“If I had taken 23 players, he would not have been involved,” Andersson said, referring to UEFA’s recent decision to increase the size of squads at Euro 2020 from 23 to 26. “With 26 players, it is players I want to be on standby. Maybe not to play so much, but to contribute to the group in the bubble life.”
In an injury-hit season with Helsingborg, Granqvist has played four matches — only once for the full 90 minutes.
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic ruled out through injury, Spartak Moscow striker Jordan Larsson was called up instead.
Sweden is in a group with Spain, Poland and Slovakia.
Goalkeepers: Robin Olsen, (Everton), Karl-Johan Jonsson (FC Copenhagen), Kristoffer Nordfeldt (Genclerbirligi).
Defenders: Ludwig Augustinsson (Werder Bremen), Andreas Granqvist (Helsingborg), Victor Lindelof (Manchester United), Filip Helander (Rangers), Emil Krafth (Newcastle), Mikael Lustig (AIK), Pontus Jansson (Brentford), Marcus Danielson (Dalian Professional), Martin Olsson (Häcken).
Midfielders: Jens Cajuste (FC Midtjylland), Gustav Svensson (Guangzhou), Viktor Claesson (Krasnodar), Albin Ekdal (Sampdoria), Emil Forsberg (Leipzig), Dejan Kulusevski (Juventus), Sebastian Larsson (AIK), Kristoffer Olsson (Krasnodar), Ken Sema (Watford), Mattias Svanberg (Bologna).
Strikers: Marcus Berg (Krasnodar), Jordan Larsson (Spartak Moscow), Robin Quaison (Mainz), Alexander Isak (Real Sociedad).
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