Player Feature: Gunnar Nordahl

16 05 2010
Gunnar Nordahl – il cannoniere
An exceptionally powerful and uncompromising forward, Nordahl was one of the most prolific goalscorers the game has ever seen. Between 1940-49, representing Degerfors and IFK Norkopping in his native Sweden, he scored 149 goals in 172 games, including seven goals in one game, a record that still stands. 
This form earned him a call up to the Swedish national team for the London Olympics of 1948. Sweden won the gold medal and Nordahl finished the tournament as top scorer with seven goals. Unsurprisingly, the giants of European football soon came calling. Nordahl was close to signing for Juventus, but eventually signed for AC Milan in early 1949. This signalled the end of his international career, Swedish FA rules stipulated that no one playing professionally would be considered for selection, finishing with a record of 44 goals in 30 games.
At the Giuseppe Meazza, Nordahl formed one third of the infamous Gre-No-Li, consisting of himself and fellow Swedes, Gunnar Gren and Nils Liedholm. Together they were to play vital roles in a very successful decade for the Rossoneri. Arriving mid way through the 48/49 season, Nordahl made quite an impact on the Italian game, scoring 16 goals in 15 games. His first full season saw him score 35 goals and Milan claim their first scudetto since 1907. A further league winners medal was to follow in 1954-55. 
Nordahl remained at Milan for a total of eight seasons and was capocannonieri in five of those. He remains AC Milan’s all time top goalscorer, netting an unbelievable 210 goals in 257 matches. Nordahl moved to AS Roma in 1956, staying in Rome for two seasons before retiring, here he added another 15 goals in 34 apperances to become the second highest goalscorer in Serie A history.