To commemorate the 70th anniversary of FC Žalgiris, the LFF stadium will host a friendly match between Lithuanian champions and 18-time Swedish league winners IFK Gothenburg on June 27th.
The Swedish club won the UEFA Cup twice in 1982 and 1987, thus making their visit to Žalgiris stadium in 1989 very memorable. Two sublime goals from Robertas Fridrikas helped Žalgiris to a 2-0 victory and, despite losing the away leg 0-1, Lithuanians advanced to the next stage, where they faced Red Star Belgrade.
However, the celebration of June 27th is not only about football, as Žalgiris will create a memorable evening for everyone at the LFF stadium.
“Dear football supporters, on behalf of Zalgiris FC, I invite you to enjoy the club’s anniversary. It’s high time to remember the old times and to enjoy football of high level. We will have a lot of attractions and surprises, so that this day will live long in your memory”, said Žalgiris director Vilma Venslovaitienė.
From 1990 to 1996, IFK Gothenburg won six national titles. They won their last title in 2007, however, they still belong to Sweden‘s elite. Last season IFK finished 4th, in 2015 and 2014 they were runners-up, while in 2013 they ended up in 3rd place.
“The choice of the club was not a coincidence. They were at the top of our list because in 1989, they were the first team that Žalgiris eliminated from the UEFA Cup. This friendly game is related to the Žalgiris 70th anniversary, so we wanted an opponent that had links with Žalgiris and Lithuania. We are happy, because we managed to reach an agreement really quickly. IFK showed great interest, so everything went very smoothly.“
"The only problem was IFK participation in the Swedish Cup - if the Cup would have been won by second or third placed team in the championship, IFK would have had to compete from the first round of the Europa League. However, everything went fine, so we are very pleased to announce that this historical match will be a repeat in a friendly game", said the club's sporting director Mindaugas Nikoličius.
The president of Žalgiris‘ general sponsor TOPsport, Gintaras Staniulis, is also delighted about this event: "Without a doubt we are pleased to contribute to this celebration. It is nice that a strong club from Sweden, which has close historical links with Žalgiris, will come to Vilnius. It will be a great introduction for the forthcoming clashes in the Champions League qualifiers, where we wish Žalgiris the best of luck. This friendly match is our gift to football loving Lithuanian people."