Brolin still bitter about Leeds experience

STOCKHOLM - Former Sweden striker Tomas Brolin has said he is still bitter over the way he was treated in England, where he saw his previously sparkling career disintegrate before coming to an end at the age of 29.

Brolin, who helped Sweden to reach the semi-finals at the 1994 World Cup, told Reuters that he still had not regained his interest in football following the episode.

"When I finished playing I was pretty sick of the whole football establishment, and the desire hasn't come back yet," he said at the Swedish Football Association's Christmas lunch, where he became the 37th player to enter their Hall of Fame.

"I watch television, the national team, the Allsvenskan (the Swedish league), and I follow Parma," added Brolin, whose career peaked during five seasons with Parma where he won the European Cup Winners Cup.

He scored 20 goals in 133 appearances for the Italian club, prompting Leeds United to pay 4.5 million pounds for him in 1995.

However, Brolin's time at the Yorkshire club was troubled, as injury problems and disagreements with managers Howard Wilkinson and George Graham led to the Swede losing his appetite for the game.

Despite his fitness problems, he said circumstances in the club forced him out.

"There were a lot of strange things going on at Leeds," he said, adding that he got fed up with having to reply to media reports.

"I played football because it was great fun, not to sit and defend myself about things I hadn't done," he said, adding that he planned to write a book telling the full story.

"There's a lot of things I haven't said because the timing wasn't right but I've noted them and they will come out eventually."

Since his retirement, Brolin has concentrated on his business interests, and has recently signed a deal with an online betting firm to play in their live poker tournaments.