Life, they say, imitates art, but Sweden midfielder Louise Fors uses a passion for football as the blank canvas with which to express herself. Fors’ paint strokes, indeed, come in the form of defence splitting passes or mazy dribbles past defenders.
Fors, who appropriately enough, one day wishes to be an art director, is single-minded in her approach on and off the field. “If I have a goal, I go for it,” Fors told FIFA.com. “It doesn’t matter if people say that I can’t or shouldn’t.” They are comments which tell a lot about an individual who possesses a flair that doesn’t always fit into the sometimes monochrome world of football’s team mantra.
A somewhat languid playing style might deceive onlookers and opposition players alike, but Fors has an undoubted ability to unlock a defence with a range of short or long passes, not to mention the kind of fast feet and ball control that would not be out of place on a futsal court. Add in a long history of scoring from distance, notably from free-kicks, and it is clear why Fors at one stage earned the nickname ‘Lolodinho’.
Now with Sweden set to host this year’s biggest international women’s football event – UEFA Women’s EURO – Fors is hoping to resurrect her national team career. The 23-year-old, however, is happy to go against convention if she is to achieve her aim.
Road less travelled
Something of a young prodigy, the Stockholm-born midfielder debuted in the top flight at just 14, making Fors, despite her youth, an eight-season veteran of the Damallsvenskan. She has turned out in the colours of top sides AIK, and more recently, Linkopings, alongside a host of local and foreign international players.
Most of the Sweden team ply their trade in the domestic league. And with so many high-quality imports, the Damallsvenskan is undoubtedly one the globe’s top competitions. Fors, though, preferred to avoid the loss of conditioning that inevitably comes with a hefty mid-season break, and journeyed to Australia for a ten-week stint at Western Sydney Wanderers in the new club’s maiden W-League season.
The visit Down Under followed a spell in Spain with Espanyol few years back. Having enjoyed that experience in Barcelona, Fors is now heading to another famous European football city. Liverpool, who are affiliated with the men’s team of the same name, are rebuilding their squad for an assault on the English Women’s Super League after a disappointing season.
And the chance for a fresh start is part of the appeal for Fors. “I’m looking forward to being part of a new plan, and a team that is growing,” she said. “I hope that I can be a key player for the team.”
It was a similar scenario in Australia - a new club with a paucity of headline-grabbing names - for the player known within the football fraternity as ‘Lollo’. “The standard (in the W-League) reminds me of Sweden before (a few years ago),” said Fors. “Some players are really good and some players are not quite at the same level.
“I love this city and lifestyle, it is my style,” said Fors nursing a coffee, little more than a crossfield pass away from Sydney’s scenic harbour. “I just wish it was closer to Sweden, but I hope to come back one day.”
Sweden takes centre stage
Opportunities for Fors at international level have been at a premium in recent years. She was in the squad for the last EURO in Finland four years ago, and featured in 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ qualifying, but failed to make the cut for Germany.
Now Fors is hoping to be viewed through fresh eyes with coach Thomas Dennerby handing the Blagult reins to newly crowned FIFA Women’s Coach of the Year Pia Sundhage.
“Hopefully now with Pia coming I will get a new chance again,” said Fors, who has extensive experience in Sweden’s national youth teams. “But we have a good national team, though not so many with my attributes, not so many left footers.”
Fors, too, feels far more prepared for the rigours of international football than when she was a raw 18-year-old on debut. “I am physically better,” she says. “I now do a lot more training by myself as well.”
Tellingly, given her nature, Fors is not concerned about being away from the national team selection spotlight. “That is not my personality,” says Fors. “If I have a dream I go for it.”