England manager Roy Hodgson has been honored with a knighthood by Finland after leading the Nordic team to its highest-ever ranking during his two years in charge.
Hodgson coached Finland from January 2006 to November 2007, when the team climbed to 33rd in the FIFA rankings and only narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 2008 European Championship. It would have been Finland's first major tournament.
Hodgson's appointment to the Order of the Lion of Finland was granted by the Finland President H.E. Sauli Niinisto, who is also the former chairman of the Finnish Football Association.
H.E. Pekka Huhtaniemi, Finland's ambassador to the United Kingdom, says ''Hodgson lifted the level of Finnish football culture and made Finland internationally better-known as a football nation.''