Henrik Larsson will no doubt by best remembered among many, for his days at Scottish Giants, Celtic and rightly so; he was nothing short of sensational. However it would be his mere 3 month stay at Manchester United where I would finally get to the chance to see Henrik Larsson up close and on a regular basis. I wasn’t disappointed.
Nowadays its almost like a common occurrence for a striker to score 40 plus goals a season, its not even talked about, Ronaldo, Messi, have done it for years since 2008, but back then it was a different story. Despite playing in an admittedly poorer league, his goal scoring became legendary throughout the world of football (which eventually led to Barcelona taking him on board). Scoring 50 goals plus a season didn’t really happen very often and when Larsson netted 53 goals in the 2000/2001 campaign it became worldwide news, he wasn’t human, he was a goal scoring machine!
Rumours of a move to United had been whispered throughout the club as the club couldn’t count on Louis Saha playing week in week out. He finally got his move to Old Trafford in a shock loan deal on 1st January 2007. It didn’t take long for Larsson to feel at home, as he went on to score on his debut in an FA Cup encounter against Aston Villa with a trademark finish into the top right hand corner. You could clearly see how prolific of a forward he once as, he hadn’t lost that touch, some are just born with it I guess and Larsson was one of those. He followed up that goal, with a neat finish against Watford at Old Trafford before rounding things off against Lille in the UEFA Champions League scoring the winner with a sublime header into the bottom right hand corner. However his best goal for the club arguably came against Portsmouth in the FA Cup as he steamed home a beautiful volley only for it to be ruled out for offside.
What stood out for me was his finishing, Bar Ruud Van Nistelrooy, he was the most lethal out and out goal scorer I have ever seen play at United, he was that good. When he got a chance, you would have bet your house on him scoring.
Its only a crying shame that he didn’t stay for longer, one can only wonder if he did, United may have been successful on all 3 fronts that season, it was more than possible. He made his final appearance for the club in an FA Cup encounter against Middlesbrough, before finally waving goodbye to the United Faithful.
He may have only been at the club a mere 3 months but boy did he make an impact, it was an honour Henrik.
By Alexander Robert Brian
Follow me on Twitter: @alex_brian92