- 19 Jun 08, 07:00 PM
In my day, Swedes were blonde, thrashed themselves with birch twigs after a red-hot sauna and rarely wore clothes.
How things have changed. At London's Harcourt Arms, I discovered that modern-day Swedes come in all sorts of different hair colours: black, brunette, mousey, ginger and fair. I only got to rub shoulders with a handful of Ulrika Jonsson lookalikes as I watched their team capitulate to the Russians.
At least a third arrived so late they missed kick-off, rushing in dressed in their business suits, presumably from IT jobs in the City, and only undoing their top buttons and glugging back an extra few mouthfuls of sweet pear cider once Andei Arshavin had put the game beyond them.
As hard as 5 Live presenter Mark Saggers tried to convince me on air that the Swedes were not a reserved lot - on the basis that he had seen a couple of them in the stadium in bikinis - on my evidence I had to disagree.
Another "interloper" at the Harcourt Arms, a traditional London pub dating back to 1760 which has been adopted by the Swedes due to its close proximity to their embassy, was a bloke called Julian.
He was watching a game with his 16th and final set of Euro 2008 supporters at venues within the boundaries of the M25. So far, producer Garth and I have encountered 13 of the 16 on a trip that has taken in three of the four home nations.
We've also clocked up 2,000 miles - and there is still the quarters, semis and final to come.
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