Gunnar Nordahl (1921-95) is UFWC’s all-time top scorer. He played 19 UFWC games, and scored a stunning 29 goals, nine clear of his nearest rivals. He played a total of 33 games for Sweden between 1942 and 1948, scoring 43 goals.
Sweden’s UFWC games in this period are listed below (holder in capitals):
20/09/42 Sweden beat GERMANY 3-2 (didn’t score)
04/10/42 SWEDEN beat Denmark 2-1 (scored 1)
15/11/42 SWEDEN lost to Switzerland 1-3 (didn’t score)
12/09/43 Sweden lost to HUNGARY 2-3 (scored 2)
07/11/43 Sweden beat HUNGARY 7-2 (scored 2)
24/06/45 SWEDEN beat Denmark 2-1 (scored 1)
01/07/45 SWEDEN beat Denmark 4-3 (scored 1)
26/08/45 SWEDEN beat Finland 7-2 (didn’t play)
30/09/45 SWEDEN beat Denmark 4-1 (scored 1)
same day (!) SWEDEN beat Finland 6-1 (didn’t play)
21/10/45 SWEDEN beat Norway 10-0 (scored 4)
25/11/45 SWEDEN lost to Switzerland 0-3 (didn’t score)
07/07/46 Sweden beat SWITZERLAND 7-2 (scored 1)
15/09/46 SWEDEN beat Norway 3-0 (didn’t play)
same day (!) SWEDEN beat Finland 7-0 (didn’t play)
06/10/46 SWEDEN drew with Denmark 3-3 (scored 1)
15/06/47 SWEDEN beat Denmark 4-1 (scored 2)
26/06/47 SWEDEN beat Denmark 6-1 (scored 1)
28/06/47 SWEDEN beat Norway 5-1 (scored 4)
24/08/47 SWEDEN beat Finland 7-0 (scored 3)
14/09/47 SWEDEN beat Poland 5-4 (scored 2)
05/10/47 SWEDEN beat Norway 4-1 (scored 2)
19/11/47 SWEDEN lost to England 2-4 (scored 1)
As is clear from this list, the vast majority of his games were against Scandinavian nations, all of whom were pretty weak at the time. However, if there was any doubt about the man’s pedigree, his record at AC Milan would put that to rest. Whilst there, he was part of the Swedish Gre-No-Li trio with Nils Liedholm and the aforementioned Gunnar Gren. He won two league titles, and was the top scorer in Serie A five times. Indeed, he still holds the record for most goals in a season in Italy.
Unfortunately, his move to Italy, at the age of just 27, ended his international career, and this, coupled with World War II, denied him the chance to play in a World Cup. He did, however, win an Olympic gold in London in 1948.
It is presumably his failure to appear in a World Cup, along with the fact that his career largely predated TV coverage of football, that has cost him the recognition he deserves. Nordahl is a true legend of the game, and a true legend of UFWC.