After 124 international matches and six World Floorball Championships, the Swedish national team defender Mattias Samuelsson has decided to end his national team career.
– Playing in the national team has meant a lot to me, says Mattias Samuelsson in the Swedish Floorball Federation’s interview.
Mattias Samuelsson is the player in Sweden who has played the most international matches. He played his first WFC in 2008 and has since played in all World Floorball Championships, but the WFCs that have stood out the most for Samuelsson are the ones he played in 2012 and 2014. He remembers especially the WFC 2012:
– Every WFC has its charm and it is so damn special to go into a championship and put the team together and compete against the same goal. But the World Championships I remember the most are the WFC gold in 2012 (Switzerland) and 2014 (at home in Gothenburg). During the WFC final in 2012, we led 9-1 against Finland for a while and we played just great. It may even be one of the best matches I’ve seen a team ever play.
He has managed to play 124 international matches in yellow and blue, which has meant a lot to him, not only the matches but also the players and leaders who have been involved.
– Playing in the national team has meant a lot to me. Since I was little, I have looked up to people who can perform at the absolute highest level. So when I joined the national team for the first time, it was something really big for me and I have really appreciated it enormously all the way, says Samuelsson and continues:
– The titles are probably the big thing, but then I also think of all the people, such as all the leaders and players who are like-minded and like to compete. They have taught me a lot, which has also been fun. So it’s the combination of the big titles and the people you meet along the way.
A player who has meant a lot to Samuelsson and whom he has looked up to is the Finnish player Mika Kohonen.
– We came to Storvreta at the same time and I thought then that if I stay close to Mika I will learn a lot. So I tried to be there and pick up as much information as possible. He has always been the one who has been able to handle big matches and perform when needed and always jumped in first and wanted to get the ball when either leading or being behind.
Mattias Samuelsson made his 124th and final international appearance on February 2, 2019, when the men’s national team won 5-3 against Finland in Finnkampen. He will be remembered as the player who always loved decisive situations, played on top and was a remarkable leader.
Samuelsson will still continue to represent his club team Storvreta in the Swedish SSL.
Mattias Samuelsson’s national team career in numbers:
International matches: 124
Points: 79 (35 + 44)
WFCs: 6 (2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018)
Active national team years: 13
Source: Swedish Floorball Federation