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Gunnar Nordahl

Gunnar Nordahl

Swedish association football player
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Swedish association football player
A.K.A. Гуннар Нордаль, Нордаль Гуннар, Нурдаль, Гуннар, Нордаль
Countries Sweden
Occupations Association football player Association football manager
Gender male
Birth 19 October 1921 (Hörnefors)
Death 15 September 1995 (Alghero)
Star sign Libra
Height: 180 cm
Weight: 90 kg
The details

Nils Gunnar Nordahl (pronounced [ˈɡɵnːar ²nuːɖɑːl]; 19 October 1921 – 15 September 1995) was a Swedish football player. A highly prolific, powerful, and physically strong striker, with an eye for goal, he is best known for his spell at A.C. Milan from 1949 to 1956, in which he won the Scudetto twice, and also the title of pluricapocannoniere, with an unprecedented five top scorer (Capocannonieri) awards, more than any other player in the history of the Italian championship. Nordahl is Milan’s all-time record goalscorer, and he long held the record for most goals for a single club in the history of Italian league, before being surpassed by Francesco Totti in January 2012. Nordahl is considered to be one of the greatest Swedish football players of all-time, and regarded as one of the best strikers in football history. In 2017, he was included in FourFourTwo magazine's list of the 100 greatest players of all time, at the 54th position.

He is the father of former footballer Thomas Nordahl.

Club career


Nordahl playing for IFK Norrköping in 1948

Nordahl started out at Hörnefors IF in Sweden before moving to first Degerfors IF and then IFK Norrköping. He won four Swedish championships with IFK Norrköping and once scored seven goals in one game. During his time in Swedish clubs, Nordahl scored 149 goals in 172 matches.


Nordahl transferred to A.C. Milan on 22 January 1949. Later, he would team up with his national team strike partners, Gunnar Gren and Nils Liedholm to form the renowned Gre-No-Li trio. Playing eight seasons with Milan, he is Serie A's multi-top-scorer a record five times (1949–50, 1950–51, 1952–53, 1953–54 and 1954–55). Nordahl is also Milan's all-time top-scorer, with 210 league goals.

Nordahl is the third-highest Serie A goalscorer of all time, with 225 goals in 291 matches, only behind Silvio Piola and Francesco Totti. That makes Nordahl the top goalscorer among non-Italian players, and he is also the most efficient goalscorer goals in Serie A ever with 0.77 goals/match.. He was nicknamed il pompiere (the fireman), because of his former job while he played in Sweden.

Parola of Juventus (left) and Nordahl of A.C. Milan (right) during a friendly match at San Siro in 1950.

After leaving Milan, Nordahl played for Roma for two seasons. Nordahl's record for most goals scored in Serie A (not including Divisione Nazionale, before Serie A was installed) of 35 in 1949–50 in a season was broken by Gonzalo Higuaín in the 2015–16 season who scored 36. Nordahl, together with the mentioned Gre-No-Li is today legendary in Milan. When Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko scored his 100 goal in Serie A for Milan, it is said that some old Milanese supporters commented: "Well he can double that number, and then add another 26, then, and just then, he has passed Il Cannoniere."

International career

Nordahl was first called up to the Swedish national team in 1945. In 1948, he helped Sweden to win the Olympic football tournament, becoming the tournament's top scorer on the way. The Swedish team also included his brothers Bertil and Knut Nordahl. Nordahl's transfer to Milan forced him to retire from the national team, as the rules at the time prevented professionals from the Swedish national team, being not called to 1950 FIFA World Cup along his fellows Gren and Liedholm. In his 33 matches in the national team, he scored a total of 43 goals.

Career statistics

Domestic league club statistics

Club Season League
Apps Goals
Hörnefors 1937–38 14 20
1938–39 14 25
1939–40 13 23
Degerfors 1940–41 17 15
1941–42 21 13
1942–43 20 14
1943–44 19 14
Norrköping 1944–45 22 27
1945–46 21 25
1946–47 20 17
1947–48 22 18
1948–49 10 6
Milan 1948–49 15 16
1949–50 37 35
1950–51 37 34
1951–52 38 26
1952–53 32 26
1953–54 33 23
1954–55 33 27
1955–56 32 23
Roma 1956–57 30 13
1957–58 4 2
Total for Milan 257 210
Career totals 504 442


Sweden national team
Year Apps Goals
1942 4 2
1943 5 5
1944 0 0
1945 5 7
1946 3 2
1947 7 15
1948 9 12
Total 33 43



IFK Norrköping
  • Allsvenskan (4): 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948
  • Swedish Cup (1): 1945
  • Serie A (2): 1950–51, 1954–55
  • Latin Cup (2): 1950–51, 1955–56


  • Olympic Gold Medal (1): 1948


  • Swedish Footballer of the Year (1): 1947
  • Allsvenskan Top scorer (4): 1943, 1945, 1946, 1948
  • Olympic Games Top Scorer (1): 1948
  • Italian Serie A Top Scorer (5): 1950, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955
  • A.C. Milan Hall of Fame
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