Football Statues No 37 (in a series of several): Gunnar Gren (1920 – 1991)
Midfielder Gunnar Gren started his playing career with the Gothenburg club Garda BK, making his league debut in 1938. After three seasons in the Swedish top flight, during which time he had netted sixteen times in 54 appearances, we has signed by IFK Gothenburg, mostly at the insistence of close friend Arne Nyberg who was playing for the cities more prominent club at the time.
He would stay with IFK Gothenburg for eight seasons scoring 79 league goals in 168 appearances, winning a championship medal in 1942 and finishing as Sweden’s leading marksman in 1947, until giants AC Milan came calling in 1949.
The move to Italy proved hugely successful and he is considered to be one of the Rossoneri’s best ever players, earning the nickname “Il Professore” (the professor). He won a championship medal with Milan in 1951 and in all scored 38 goals in 133 league games during his four years with them.
In 1953 he moved to Fiorentina, then to Genoa in 1955 before returning to Sweden with Örgyte IS a year later where he completed his playing career taking part in his last senior game in 1964.
At international level he was capped 57 times by Sweden, scoring 30 goals for his country, winning a gold medal at the 1948 London Olympics and a runners-up medal in the 1958 World Cup. As a coach he managed AC Milan and Juventus as well as Örgyte IS, IFK Gothenburg, GAIS and several smaller clubs in Sweden
This statue was erected in his honour outside the (now demolished and rebuilt) Gamla Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg.
Picture from here.