Nils Gunnar Nordahl (pronounced [ˈɡɵ̌nːar ˈnûːɖɑːl]; 19 October 1921 – 15 September 1995) was a Swedish professional footballer. A highly prolific, powerful, and physically strong striker, with an eye for goal, he is best known for his spell at AC 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.
|Full name||Nils Gunnar Nordahl|
|Date of birth||19 October 1921|
|Place of birth||Hörnefors, Sweden|
|Date of death||15 September 1995(aged 73)|
|Place of death||Alghero, Italy|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|1958–1959||AS Roma (player-manager)|
|*Club domestic league appearances and goals|
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. He still holds the record for goals per appearance in Italy.
A full international between 1942 and 1948, he won 33 caps and scored 43 goals for the Sweden national team. He represented his country at the 1948 Summer Olympics, where he was the joint top scorer alongside Denmark's John Hansen as Sweden won gold.
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.
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 AC 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.
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."
Nordahl was first called up to the Swedish national team in 1942. 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.
|Hörnefors IF||1937–38||Division 3 Nedre Norrländskan||14||20|
|1938–39||Division 3 Nedre Norrländskan||14||25|
|1939–40||Division 3 Nedre Norrländskan||13||23|
|AC Milan||1948–49||Serie A||25||16|
|Karlstad BIK||1959||Division 2 Svealand|
|1960||Division 2 Svealand|
- Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Gunnar Nordahl". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020.
- Roberto Di Maggio; Igor Kramarsic; Alberto Novello (8 June 2017). "Italy - Serie A Top Scorers". RSSSF.com. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
- "Roma's Francesco Totti breaks Gunnar Nordahl's all-time record of 210 league goals with a single Italian club". Goal.com. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
- Chiesa, Carlo F. (22 August 1999). "We are the champions - I 150 fuoriclasse che hanno fatto la storia del calcio" [The 150 champions that made football's history]. Calcio 2000 (in Italian). Action Group S.r.l. p. 123.
- "Serial-scoring Swede who lit up Milan". Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) - FIFA.com. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
- "Ranking the Top 60 Strikers of All Time".
- Yorkhin, Michael (25 July 2017). "FourFourTwo's 100 Greatest Footballers EVER: 60 to 51". FourFourtwo. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
- Gunnar Nordahl. Swedish Olympic Committee
- "A.C. Milan Hall of Fame: Gunnar Nordahl". acmilan.com. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
- "The top scorers in European league history". Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) - UEFA.com. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "Top 10 Serie A goalscorers - 2. Gunnar Nordahl - 225 goals". Goal.com. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
- "AC Milan All-Time Best XI". Goal.com. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
- "From Bernardini to El Shaarawy: 13 players who scored on their debut". asroma.com. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
- "Higuain: 'I am so happy!'". Football Italia. 14 May 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
- Chris Davie (14 May 2016). "Higuain makes Serie A history by breaking 66-year-old goalscoring record". goal.com. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
- "Gunnar Nordahl". Olympedia. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
- Gunnar Nordahl – Classic Player profile – [FIFA.com]
- List of Swedish Players and Coaches in Italy since 1945 – RSSSF
- Detail of international appearances and goals – by Roberto Mamrud, RSSSF
- Profile at magliarossonera.it (in Italian)
- Biography at Storie di Calcio (in Italian)
- Obituary in la Repubblica
- Gunnar Nordahl at Olympedia