Sweden and Fiorentina icon Hamrin dies aged 89

MILAN: Kurt Hamrin, the last surviving player from the 1958 World Cup final, has died aged 89, his former club Fiorentina announced today.

"Everyone at Fiorentina comes together in grief with the family and the entire football community for the passing of Kurt Hamrin," the Serie A club said in a statement.

"Hamrin was and will always be a genuine legend of football and in particular for Fiorentina fans."

Former Juventus, Fiorentina and AC Milan winger Hamrin, nicknamd "Uccellino" ("Little Bird") was known for his exciting play on the flank and his eye for goal.

He was a key part of the Sweden team which reached the 1958 World Cup final on home soil, where they were beaten by Brazil and a teenage Pele.

Hamrin, who scored 17 goals in 32 international appearances, is best remember by Swedish fans for his exploits in that World Cup.

He scored in the quarter-finals and the last four to set up the final with a brilliant Brazil team which also featured Mario Zagallo and Garrincha.

"Swedish football has lost one of its greats," said the country's football federation.

"It wasn't just the track record, the goals, the passes and the hard work on the right wing that made 'Kurre' a legend who was never forgotten. He was a loyal and popular person wherever he played.

"Swedish football remembers Kurre Hamrin with great warmth and gratitude. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones right now."

He also left a big mark in Italy where he scored 190 Serie A goals over 15 years at a number of clubs, putting him ninth in the league's all-time scoring charts.

With Fiorentina, for whom he signed in 1958, Hamrin won the 1961 European Cup Winners' Cup and two Italian Cups, before moving to AC Milan in 1967.

In two seasons at Milan, Hamrin had even more success than he did at Fiorentina, playing alongside Gianni Rivera in one of the Rossoneri's best ever teams.

He won the Serie A title and another Cup Winner's Cup in 1968 in his debut campaign at the San Siro.

The following season he was key to Milan claiming their second European Cup, netting in the 2-1 aggregate semi-final victory over holders Manchester United before Johan Cruyff's Ajax were thrashed 4-1 in the final.

He left that summer for Napoli, where he played for two further seasons before moving back to Sweden to finish his career at IFK Stockholm.

He later returned to Florence with his family, and passed away in the Tuscan city he made his second home. — AFP

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