Kim Kallstrom reveals bizarre circumstances behind shock loan move

Kim Kallstrom reveals bizarre circumstances behind shock loan move

Kim Kallstrom may not have made the greatest of impacts onArsenal during his six month spell in 2014 but it seems the Gunners left quite the mark on him, with the Swedish midfielder describing his penalty in an FA Cup semi-final shootout as “the greatest 15 minutes of my life”.

The then-Spartak Moscow midfielder was a surprise arrival at the Emirates on transfer deadline day in January 2014, brought in as cover amid an injury crisis that had claimed Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere.

Wenger was forced to defend his actions after it emerged that Kallstrom had arrived with a back injury that would rule him out of action for nearly two months, and the Swedish international would depart the Emirates in May having made just four appearances.

However one of those matches did see Kallstrom make a major contribution to Arsenal’s first major trophy in nine years – he scored in the FA Cup semi-final penalty shootout win that saw the Gunners’ creep past Championship side Wigan.

Kallstrom described the moment in an appearance on Swedish radio: “I hear Wenger shouting in French: ‘Kim, do you take penalties?’ ‘Yeah, I’d be glad to take one.’ ‘Good. You’re second.’ I decide early where to shoot it. When I walk alone to the spot, in a stadium with three times as many spectators as there are inhabitants of my hometown, Sandviken, I must suppress my smile. It’s a long way to walk across the pitch. I’m relaxed – perhaps happy. I put the ball on the spot.

“Now, I just have to back up and find the right distance to the ball, run up, and strike the ball hard and high to the left. Just do what I usually do, what I know, and always have done. I’ve done it a thousand times before, and there’s no nervousness. The keeper goes early, in the opposite direction of where I had decided to put it.

“When I watch the penalty on Youtube, the feelings return. The calm and the joy, but I’m surprised where the ball ended up. The ball ended up in the lower left corner, opposite of how I remembered it. I had decided to put it high to the left, but I remembered it as I actually put it low to the right. I’m confused, but the ball ended up in the net.

“We won the final and we’re praised by over 200,000 supporters on the streets of London.

“Although my contribution was small in the 120-year history of the club, it was a highlight for me. The greatest 15 minutes of my life, and it turns out I don’t remember what happened. Where was I in that deciding moment? Trance, shock, delirium, coma, nervous breakdown, call it whatever you want.

“The only thing I know for sure is that sports and football are incomprehensible. That’s why we love it. As long as that penalty continues to end up in the net, my experience is true. I’m sure of it.”

Arsenal would win the shoot-out 4-2 and subsequently lifted the FA Cup in even more dramatic finish, overturning a two-goal deficit to Hull City and claiming their first trophy in nearly a decade through Aaron Ramsey’s extra-time strike.

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