Simonsson, the Swede who came to replace Di Stéfano, passed away

Fore Klas Agne Simonsson, a Swedish forward for Real Madrid between 1960 and 1963, has died in his native Sweden at the age of 84. Simonsson was born on October 19, 1935 in Göteborg, and passed away on Tuesday, September 22, after his health deteriorated in recent days due to pneumonia.

Real Madrid Shield / Flag

Real Madrid signed him from Örgryte I. S. Göteborg in the summer of 1960. Precisely, in that Swedish club he made his entire career except for the time interval that he was playing in Spain. Simonsson achieved great notoriety after scoring four goals in the World Cup held in the Nordic country in 1958 (one of them was in the final against Brazil) and two more in a famous victory for Sweden in England at Wembley (2-3) in October 1959. That performance led him to earn the nickname The King of Wembley and to be fifth on the Ballon d'Or list that same year.… and the Guldbollen, an award given by the Swedish Federation to the best player in the country. He is considered one of the great players in the history of Swedish football. With the yellow and blue elastic he played 51 games and scored 27 goals.

Simonsson was a moving center forwarde: he did not just wait for the auction, but went down to help the interiors to overcome the middle line. That style of play, similar to that of Di Stéfano (although this one was practically omnipresent in all the field areas) was what caught the attention of Bernabéu, that he was also aware of La Saeta's age (then he was 34 years old), and that he was looking for a replacement. Simonsson was then 24 years old. But Simonsson did not come to fruitionr, largely due to the great performances of Di Stéfano. In his first campaign he only played three league games, scoring one goal, against Zaragoza. Yes, he made great friends with Zárraga, Gento, Marquitos … and with Di Stéfano, whom he went to visit in Valencia when the Argentine had a heart attack in 2005. He loved visiting the Spanish capital, something he used to do in spring and fall.

Simonsson in his time as a Real Madrid player in a match against Real Sociedad.

Simonsson in his time as a Real Madrid player in a match against Real Sociedad.

The second campaign (1961-62) he left on loan to Real Sociedad, embedded in the so-called 'Operation Araquistain' (the goalkeeper arrived at Madrid and the whites yielded to the Swede), but he could not prevent the descent of the San Sebastian team (he scored eight so many). He returned to Madrid, but hardly played (especially friendlies). So in 1963 he returned to Örgryte, a club from which he would retire in 1970: in 1958 he had scored the goal that returned Örgryte to the Swedish First Division. It coincided that it was his birthday. Her brother Roy explained her game like this: “Agne played like a chess player. She always thought of a move or two in advance.” Rest in peace.