Zlatan, Lotta take top football honors
Zlatan Ibrahimovic won the top prize in Swedish football as he claimed his seventh-straight and eighth overall Gold Ball at the 2013 Football Gala awards ceremony. Lotta Schelin won the Diamond Ball as the top female Swedish football player. It was the third-straight year and fourth overall trophy for Schelin.
Both players make their living in France, where Ibrahimovic plays for Paris St. Germain and Schelin for Olympique Lyon. Both are also in the running for world player of the year honors with FIFA.
Overseas-based players dominated the position awards, claiming every trophy except rookie of the year and Allsvenskan Most Valuable Player. Melker Halberg won the Rookie of the Year award after his breakthough season with Kalmar FF. IFK Goteborg Tobias Hysen won the MVP.
The complete list of winners is:
Goalkeeper of the Year (Women): Thora Helgadottir (LdB Malmö)
Goalkeeper of the Year (Men): Andreas Isaksson (Kasimpasa)

Defender of the Year (Women): Nilla Fischer (Linköping/Wolfsburg)
Defender of the Year (Men): Martin Olsson (Blackburn/Norwich)

Midfielder of the Year (Women): Ramona Bachmann (LdB Malmö)
Midfielder of the Year (Men): Albin Ekdal (Cagliari)

Forward of the Year (Women): Lotta Schelin (Lyon)
Forward of the Year (Men): Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain)

Rookie of the Year (Women): Jessica Samuelsson
Rookie of the Year (Men): Melker Hallberg (Kalmar)

Coach of the Year (Men): Rikard Norling (Malmö FF)
Coach of the Year (Women): Jonas Eidevall (Ldb Malmö)

Allsvenskan Most Valuable Player (Women): Ramona Bachmann
Allsvenskan Most Valuable Player (Men): Tobias Hysén

Referee of the Year (Women): Sara Persson
Referee of the Year (Men): Andreas Ekberg

Men’s Scoring Champion: Imad Khalili (Helsingborg, IFK Norrköping) 15 goals
Women’s Scoring Champion: Christen Press (Tyresö) 23 goals

Goal of the Year: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Gold Ball: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Diamond Ball: Lotta Schelin

Skellefteå holds sway in SHL
Skellefteå AIK is on the verge of running away with the regular season point championship in the Swedish Hockey League. The northern Swedish club has 75 points in 33 games, 18 better than the second-place Frölunda. SAIK has scored 112 goals in its 33 games and has just eight losses.
Skellefteå faced the second-, third- and fourth-place teams in the week of Dec 7-14 and knocked off all three. SAIK topped fourth-place Brynäs 3-1 before trouncing third-place Leksand 5-0 and scored a 4-1 win over Frolunda Dec. 14.
MODO Hockey was the biggest mover in the standings in the week, but in the wrong direction as the Örnsköldsvik club rode a four-game losing streak and dropped them from third place to seventh.
AIK dropped to last place following losses to Leksand and Brynäs.
In the individual points race, Per Albrandt leads league in scoring with 45 points. The Linkoping forward has 16 goals and 29 assists. Linus Klassen of Leksand is second with 41 points from 16 goals and 25 assists while Joakim Lindstrom is third with 26 points from 14 goals and 22 assists. Simon Hjalmarsson leads the SHL in goals with 19.

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New era for European hockey
Sweden announced it would take part in the new Champions Hockey League which replaces the European Trophy in August 2014. The Champions Hockey League consists of 26 founding clubs and the reigning champions and regular season winners from Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and Finland. Luleå, Frölunda, Färjestad, HV 71, Linköping and Djurgården (if they play in the SHL in the future) are the permanent founding teams from Sweden.
The league will also include wildcard entries from other top European leagues that will participate in a 149 game schedule that will span from August 2014 until February 2015.