I nearly won Ballon d'Or after World Cup heroics but was a huge flop in the Premier League – I retired to sell vacuums | The Sun

TOMAS BROLIN failed to live up to expectations in the Premier League before retiring to sell vacuum cleaners.

The former Sweden forward was a statement signing for Leeds in 1995 just a year after he came close to winning the Ballon d'Or.

Brolin had placed joint-fourth with Gheorghe Hagi after starring for Sweden at the 1994 World Cup.

He scored three goals and provided four assists as his country finished third in the USA.

However, he was unable to pip Hristo Stoichkov to the gong, despite also starring for Parma in Italy and Europe.

Following Parma's UEFA Cup win at the end of the 1994/95 season, Leeds swooped to land Brolin but he would never adapt to the Premier League.



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After loan spells with Zurich and back at Parma, he moved to Crystal Palace in 1997 but would stay for just six months.

During his time in England, Brolin scored just four goals in 32 Premier League appearances.

A brief return to Sweden failed to reignite his career and the striker retired in 1998 aged just 28.

Brolin would soon find a new purpose, though, after meeting inventor Goran Edlund.

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His fellow Swede had developed a lighter and more efficient vacuum cleaner nozzle, which Brolin invested in.

He became a 50 per cent partner in the Twinner, which has become one of Sweden's most popular brands and is available in the UK and across Europe.

Brolin even gives a large amount of his earnings from the vacuum company to charity, with 30 per cent going to a children's rights society in his homeland.

Meanwhile, his business portfolio has also included properties, pharmaceuticals and caterings firms in the past.

The 53-year-old spent time playing professional poker too, as well as owning several racehorses.

He does not regret his decision to retire so young, either, telling FourFourTwo in 2018: "If you want to continue playing at a high level you’ve got to train every single day, but I wasn’t so keen to keep doing that.

"I had other projects in my head – when I stopped playing, an inventor came up to me with his new idea about vacuum cleaners and I opened that company.

"If by the December of that year I’d wanted to play again, I would have come back. But that feeling never came and now it’s 20 years ago.

"Everyone says 28 is young to retire, but it depends on what you’ve done in your 28 years as a footballer. I’d done quite a lot."

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