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Meet the Arsenal league title winner who was convinced he'd time-travelled two years into the future

Ella Scott

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Meet the Arsenal league title winner who was convinced he'd time-travelled two years into the future

Former Arsenal and Swedish national star Anders Limpar was once led to believe that he had time-travelled two years into the future.

Limpar retired from professional football in 2001 but not before claiming a league title with the Gunners, scooping up 58 international caps and also featuring as a Birmingham City player for a season.

While the iconic Gunners midfielder's talent once landed him a Swedish Player of the Year award, it’s usually what the 57-year-old did off the pitch that’s remembered.

The year was 1997 and Limpar unknowingly appeared on the Swedish hidden camera show Blåsningen.

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Essentially the Scandinavian version of the Ashton Kutcher-led ‘Punk’d’ series, celebrities became victims of gags and their reactions were recorded.

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It’s reported that the show splashed £20,000 to hire out an airport and employ actors.

These people were tasked with roleplaying as scientists and had to convince the footballer that he had truly travelled into the future.

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The prank began with him boarding a plane in Gothenburg with his in-on-the-joke friend.

While on the jet, the actors revealed to the ex-Arsenal man that there had been a breakthrough in time travel.

Utterly convinced by the actors, Limpar encouraged the ‘scientists’ to perform the experiment.

After instigating the manoeuvre, the plane was ‘intercepted’ by Swedish military jets and the flight touched back down at Gothenburg airport.

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An army officer then told the holidaymakers that they had travelled two years into the future and that Norway had won the 1998 World Cup.

The former Arsenal man was convinced he had transcended time and space. (Credit: Blåsningen)
The former Arsenal man was convinced he had transcended time and space. (Credit: Blåsningen)

After being whisked away for ‘questioning’, the ‘King of Sweden’ (aka host Lennart Swahn) arrived to tell Limpar he’d been royally stitched up.

Following the embarrassing realisation that it was still 1997, the victim told Ladbrokes Fanzone that he was convinced it was 1999 for two days.

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“It wasn’t a quick joke,” he said. “For the two days we spent in this prank, they cut the whole thing down to just one hour for TV.

“There was so much more to the whole story. Of course, I was so glad when the guy, Lennart Swahn, finally showed up to tell us it was all a prank.”

He then revealed that for years after, he was angry at Blåsningen for making him out to be a laughing stock.

“I was happy when it all ended but when everyone in the country laughed at me for years afterwards… that was hard to deal with," he added.

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“It affected my personality, my profile, whatever you want to call it because I was just seen as this laughing stock.

On the 20th anniversary of the time-travelling fiasco, Limpar told Expressen that the experience was “so damn good.”

“We thought we’d been flying for two years in the future. It was awesome. It is true that what happens then is credible.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy & Blåsningen

Topics: Arsenal, Premier League, Football, Sweden

Ella Scott
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