For Swedish defender Robin Jansson, horseshoes certainly proved to be a lucky charm.
The 26-year-old scored the goal that clinched AIK’s first league title in nine years on Sunday, just seven months after leaving a job in a horseshoe factory to join the Stockholm club.
Jansson headed home the only goal in a 1-0 win over Kalmar to complete an unlikely journey that began as a semi-professional in the third tier.
“Eight, nine months ago I wouldn’t have believed (I’d be standing here). It’s a fantastic fairy tale,” Jansson told public broadcaster SVT. “I’d never thought about a Swedish championship in my career or in my life.”
The away victory clinched AIK’s first title since 2009 and set off wild celebrations among traveling fans, who invaded the pitch at the final whistle.
— Hundratjugotre (@Brinkengnagare) November 11, 2018
AIK signed Jansson from Oddevold in April as emergency injury cover, after the centre-back impressed against them in a Swedish cup game. Prior to his big break, he had making ends meet by working in the horseshoe factory near his hometown and driving about 80 kilometers to training every evening.
However, he became the unlikely hero for a club that also signed former Sunderland and Birmingham midfielder Sebastian Larsson ahead of the season. And Jansson was getting a taste of celebrity on the team’s flight back to Stockholm after the game in Kalmar.
“The pilots let me sit in the cockpit during the landing,” Jansson told newspaper Expressen.