Henrik Larsson: My son can be better than I was

Henrik Larsson with his son Jordan before a friendly match at Celtic Park versus Seville in 2004.
Henrik Larsson with his son Jordan before a friendly match at Celtic Park versus Seville in 2004.
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Henrik Larsson believes his son, Jordan, is on the way to becoming a better player than he was and, says the Celtic legend, that is the only way to stop the pair being compared to one another.

The 19-year-old striker, currently with Helsingborgs, managed by his father, has received praise from many of his compatriots – including including Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic – and has scored four goals in 17 appearances for his club so far this season.

His father, who scored just under 250 times for Celtic before moving to Barcelona, is also one of those to have commended the forward, though concedes that the only way to stop lazy comparisons is for Jordan to surpass his own achievements as a player.

“I have said all along that the only way to deal with people comparing him to me is to become a better player than I was,” Larsson told the Evening Times.

“He is already on his way to doing that. Jordan is playing in a higher division than I was at his age and he has already been capped for Sweden – and scored – at under-21 level, again, something that I had not done at his age.

“So far he has done everything earlier than I did.

“But I have to say that he is a very strong boy. He is his own man, he has his own personality and although I know that he is proud of me, he is proud of his Dad, he doesn’t care about other people and the comparisons that they make.

“There is nothing that he can do about that. He is secure enough to handle it and we wish him all the very best as looks to make a career out of football.”

For both paternal and professional reasons, Larsson takes a keen interest in his son’s development and recently persuaded him to pull out of the Olympic tournament and concentrate on his club football.

Though he conceded that, ultimately, the desire to be better can only come from the player himself.

“We want him to be as good as possibly can be and he works very hard,” said Larsson. “He has a great attitude and he wants to learn all the time.

“The pressure comes from himself, to be better, to work harder. I don’t know what might be next for him but for now he is doing well, he is playing football and he maturing as a player.

“He is learning what it takes to play first-team games and that has helped him develop physically as much as anything. We will see what happens but he is enjoying himself at the moment.”

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