Kim Kallstrom dedicated Sweden’s surprise 2-0 victory over France in their last Euro 2012 outing to the country’s long-suffering supporters.
Erik Hamren’s charges went into the game with nothing but pride to play for after back-to-back defeats against Ukraine and England confirmed that elimination last Friday.
However, they produced a stirring display and ended Les Bleus’ 23-game unbeaten run thanks to goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sebastian Larsson.
“You’re left with a strange feeling,” Kallstrom said after the game.
“But it was great to finish in a positive way ahead of the World Cup qualifiers and pay back all the wonderful fans for their support. There are, after all, many wonderful memories you can take home.”
After shipping five goals in their previous two games, the Lyon midfielder was in no doubt that Sweden’s greater organisation at the back had been key to the victory.
“We saw the difference today: we don’t let in any goals and then we win,” Kallstrom said.
Despite losing to the Swedes, France progress to the quarter-finals as runners-up to Group D winners England, who defeated Ukraine in the night’s other fixture, and will now face Spain on Saturday.