Jihde: It will be for the last time today
Ten years ago he got his first title of the World Champion in Prague. Since then Niklas Jihde has won everything that was possible. Today this phenomenal forward wants to finish his representation career. „I planned it for a long time. To finish at the world championship, in a huge arena, in the same city where I got my first title. It sounds too nice to be really true,“ says Niklas Jihde.
What will you think of when the Swedish national anthem will start to play before the final match today?
I don’t know but I will have goose bumps definitely. I’m always proud when our anthem is played but just before the last match in representation it will be really great experience. I hope that a lot of people will come and will create great atmosphere like in Ostrava. It’s a real pleasure to play in front of Czech spectators.
You will play against Finland again. What is their team like this year?
They didn’t play at full blast in the semi-final. But we have so far performed some 80% of what we‘re able to do. Tomorrow it will be a really special match.
Traditional derby. The Finns don’t like us and we don’t like them. We have been waiting for this match for two years and we’ll put everything into it.
Aren’t you tired at the end of the tournament?
Not much. It wasn’t a very physically hard match against Switzerland but rather a tactical one.
Try to remember all your championships you’ve attended. What was your first one in the Czech Republic ten years ago like?
Very good. There were a lot of Swedish fans in Prague and I got my first medal.
And what about Norway two years later?
It was worse there. I didn‘t perform very well there and I sat on the bench. However, we won and that was important.
Then there was a championship in Finland.
I classify the victory from Helsinki as the top of all championships. We defeated Finland in the final in their home arena and in front of home spectators. Great triumph.
Two years later you played the final in Switzerland against the Czechs.
Czech success really surprised me. Otherwise the whole tournament was special for me because at that time I was working in Swiss Zürich.
Well, and two years ago your team triumphed in front of your home spectators.
What to say. Excellent experience. We got the title in the view of our friends and families. Additionally, I led the Swedish national team as the captain. And this year I don‘t want to be the first captain who won‘t get gold medals for Sweden.
Do you feel big pressure? You almost always smile on the rink and on the bench.
I don’t bring myself to admit pressure. I rather try to enjoy the championship. I want to do my best and enjoy at the same time. My approach has always brought success so far. I hope this will also work tomorrow.
You’ve got many titles and trophies in floorball. As a young guy you also played tennis. Don’t you sometimes regret that you left tennis?
Only when I see my bank account (smile). Well, of course not, I don’t really think about it. I’ve decided for floorball because I like it more. I prefer to play in a team and I’ve made a lot of friends thanks to floorball.
Who do you think will replace you in the position of the leader?
Magnus Svensson will still be on top for a long time. He’s an incredible player. He loves narrow matches and he always wants to decide the victory.