Kim Källström comforts frightened autistic mascot before Germany game | inside World Soccer

A heartwarming story has been doing the rounds in Sweden over the past few days involving Kim Källström who attempted to reassure and settle a frightened autistic mascot.

Sweden player Kim Källström speaks with one of the mascots prior to a match against Germany
Sweden player Kim Källström speaks with one of the mascots prior to a match against Germany

Photo: Aftonbladet

Sweden and Germany played their World Cup qualifying match on Tuesday of last week, but the story of the game came before kick-off as the team's lined up with their mascots.

Eleven children with Williams syndrome were invited to be mascots in front of 50,000 spectators at Friends Arena.

The disease gives children a happy demeanour but they have problems with concentration and relating to the outside world.

And as the big moment came, one young mascot named Max started to get scared and nervous.

Max, thankfully, was cajoled and helped along by Swedish midfielder Källström.

Days after the game, Max's father Emil took to Facebook to pen a thank you letter to the Spartak Moscow player.

Emil wrote: "I am writing to you because I'm not quite sure if you understand how much of a difference you've made to us.

"Tuesday saw my son Max do something very special, for other children, it's really about 15 minutes of concentration and nervousness as well as an incredible joy of having been able to meet the national team.

"Because of your actions my son was able to experience exactly the same feelings as everyone else: pride, a sense of being special.

"Your decision to choose to support Max when he gets scared, you bend down and soothe him (even if it only helps for a short while) sends so many good messages for us and makes all the difference between success or a failure for Max.

"I would like to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!"

Sweden player Kim Källström is seen trying to comfort a mascot who gets scared and nervous
Sweden player Kim Källström is seen trying to comfort a mascot who gets scared and nervous

Photo: Aftonbladet

Källström then responded in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet: "Of course I'm pleased that Max's dad appreciated what I did during the field entrance.

"But what's more gratifying is that, despite Max being a little nervous in the players tunnel, together we were fortunately able to make it a very positive experience.

"In a situation like this I act more like neighbour and parent than as the footballer I just happen to be.

"I realise I have a responsibility to the parents, who probably themselves are a little apprehensive about staying in the stands, but also to the children who enter with us. I try to be calm and comforting and it is usually enjoyed by kids."

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