Breaking News – The view from Sweden… by an Englishman: Why Swedes are getting cocky

Simon Higby is an Englishman living in Stockholm Here, he writes for Sportsmail on what it is like being surrounded by increasingly confident Swedes The last time a Scandinavian nation beat England in the World cup the reaction from Norwegian commentator Bjørge Lillelien was pretty un-Scandinavian to say the least 'We are the best in the world! We are the best in the world! We have beaten England 2-1 in football!! It is completely unbelievable! We have beaten England! England, birthplace of giants 'Lord Nelson, Lord Beaverbrook, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Clement Attlee, Henry Cooper, Lady Diana – we have beaten them all We have beaten them all! 'Maggie Thatcher can you hear me? Maggie Thatcher, I have a message for you in the middle of the election campaign I have a message for you: We have knocked England out of the football World Cup

Maggie Thatcher, as they say in your language in the boxing bars around Madison Square Garden in New York: Your boys took a hell of a beating! Your boys took a hell of a beating!' Now England face their Scandinavian neighbours, Sweden, in the World Cup quarter final and this seems to be the attitude pre-match Before a ball has been kicked there is an air of over confidence this side of the North Sea From someone who has lived in Sweden for over 10 years it is clear something has happened to these usually calm and humble people 'Since Zlatan retired, we have to take his place' This is what I was told by a colleague and that's exactly what I put it down to – The Zlatan effect He has changed society Thanks to him it's now okay to be extrovert, to stand out, to have confidence – especially for Sweden's younger generations So here are a few of the politely cocky things I have picked up this week: I was down at the sport shop the other day where a young lad was getting an England shirt with his Dad The shop worker put the shirt in the bag and said 'You won't have much use for that after Saturday' A British friend of mine found a message stuck to his computer screen the day after the Colombia game An image of Zlatan pulling off his overhead-kick against England with the simple message 'Remember?' Ingmar Bergman, one of Sweden's most famous people, directed a film called the seventh sail In it the grim reaper plays chess with the lead character where he asks: – I have come for you – How about a game of chess? I was sent an email, with accompanying photo, where the lines had been altered to: – I have come for you – How about a game of football? The epitome of the Swedish cockiness is people sitting around in the office talking about keeping the semi-final day 'free' That is usually the reserve of the English supporters but not this year Listening to commercial radio on the way into work the presenters began singing the 'footballs coming home' song But changing the words to 'They're going home, they're going home, they're going, England's going home' Even England's old manager, Sven-Göran Eriksson, is joining in the banter, claiming that 'England would prefer to be playing Brazil' This may not be Zlatanesque sledging but is he saying Sweden are better than Brazil? I was also asked: 'You know Brazil now have a word for when Germany beat them in the World cup? Mineirazo, it apparently means spirit of national shame What will the English word be?' 'Be off with you, you cheeky sod' was my very eloquent reply A quick look at the sports paper here in Sweden reveals that their confidence is sky high Out of 94,000 people, 84% thought Sweden would win One of Sweden's football journalists writes, next to a pic with the BBC team, 'bring it on lads, lets see where home really is ' There is even a Swede who has pitted the best of Swedish culture and business against the best of the English He claims Sweden win 10 to 9 See the image below

It's doing the rounds on email and Facebook with many Swedes claiming we can't even beat them in culture We have a thing at the office called a nära o kära day, a day you can take off to do something with your loved ones on short notice I was suggested to me to take mine on Monday Good banter The Swedish press is going all Fleet Street right now too With one publication overlaying the Saint George's Cross with Swedish hand sticking two fingers up Of course it must be said that all of the banter I have received since it was clear we were to play Sweden in the quarter-finals has been all good natured, if a touch over-confident Lets just hope that the three lions do the business on Saturday so I can stride into the office Monday morning, not say a word and just smile a lot

Source: Youtube