- Sweden international has five goals and seven assists to date this season.
- Father and grandfather played professionally in Sweden.
- Also making his mark at international level.
RB Leipzig midfielder Emil Forsberg has helped his side take the Bundesliga by storm, his five goals and seven assists a major part of the Saxony side’s outstanding form that puts them on top of the league going in to Matchday 13.
The talented Swede, like the club he plays for, has taken to life in Germany’s elite like a duck to water. We reveal ten things about the 25-year-old’s life and career so far.
1) Football in the family
Football is in Forsberg’s blood; grandfather Lennart played for GIF Sundsvall in the 1950s, father Leif ‘Foppa’ Forsberg became a club legend, scoring 143 goals in more than 400 games for the team during the 1980s and ‘90s, even having his No.10 shirt retired in honour of his achievements with the Giffarna. Known as ‘mini-Foppa,’ Emil went on to make it a hat-trick for the Forsbergs when he made his debut aged 17 in 2009. He scored 24 goals in 97 league appearances for GIF Sundsvall before moving to Malmö FF.
Watch: Forsberg's two excellent assists in Leipzig's victory over Freiburg on Matchday 12:
2) Football focus
Growing up in Sweden, Forsberg tried his hand at several other sports – including hockey – before opting to become a professional footballer. Asked what he would have been had football not worked out, the Leipzig attacker answered, "unemployed, or working with my dad in the fire department."
3) Malmö calling
Forsberg took time to settle into life with Malmö, but once he did, 57 Allsvenskan appearances yielded 19 goals, two top-flight titles and earned him Sweden's Midfielder of the Year award. Several appearances in the UEFA Champions League were another impressive addition to the Forsberg CV.
4) Answering his country's call
It was little surprise that his country came calling, and having played for Sweden’s Under-19s, Forsberg won a first senior cap in friendly against Moldova in January 2014. To date he has won 24 caps, scoring the first of three goals so far in the EURO 2016 qualifying play-off against Denmark and starting all three of his country’s outings in France last summer.
5) Hello Leipzig
Forsberg had attracted interest from outside Sweden, and in January 2015 he left Malmö after two successful years to join Leipzig. He slotted straight into the side, playing 14 times in the latter stages of the season and was then key to the promotion-winning success in 2015/16 with eight goals in 32 outings.
6) Football in the family II
Forsberg’s wife Shanga is also a footballer, and like her husband she plays for Leipzig. They married on 17 July 2016.
7) Deal me in
With a first promotion to the Bundesliga getting closer, Leipzig handed Forsberg a contract extension early in 2016. "This club wants to be the best, and I want to be the best. I have developed all the time and have a major role in the club,” he said after inking in the new three-year deal. “It's perfect for me, I have much more to give and I want to give it to the club."
8) Move on up
Just as he had with all the previous moves up the career ladder so far, Forsberg has taken the step in to the Bundesliga in his stride. His first start came on Matchday 3, and he marked the occasion in splendid style, coolly slotting home the penalty that put Leipzig on the way to a 4-0 win at Hamburger SV.
9) Club form carries over for country
Forsberg is now an established international, and his most recent outing for Sweden saw him put his side ahead against France with a brilliant free kick that swerved away from a static and baffled Hugo Lloris in the French goal. The Leipzig man’s goal was worthy of winning the World Cup qualifier by itself, but despite a Paul Pogba equaliser, Forsberg’s sublime skill showed that he could take his domestic form onto the international stage.
10) May I assist you?
The 25-year-old’s five goals is an impressive tally, second only to Timo Werner’s haul of seven for their club. However nationally he leads the way as the Bundesliga’s king of the assists with seven, showing just how well both Forsberg and has taken to life in the top flight. The same is true of the Swedish star’s club, and they are both nicely poised to keep their story going, starting with the visit of FC Schalke 04 to the Red Bull Arena on Saturday 3 December (kick-off 18:30CET/17:30GMT).