June 14, 2018 / 9:32 AM / in 2 months

Soccer: Just enjoy yourselves, Zlatan tells Swedes

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Sweden’s former striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic said on Thursday that they should simply enjoy themselves at the World Cup because without him in the team there was no expectation.

Former Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic attends a meeting with media representatives on the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow, Russia June 14, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

“I think Sweden, they have less pressure when I’m not there, because when I’m there we’re supposed to win everything,” the 36-year-old said with customary candour.

“Just enjoy. No pressure, because I’m not there,” the larger-than-life character told reporters.

The LA Galaxy forward, who played 116 times for Sweden over 15 years, was in Moscow to promote Visa cardless payment systems.

Sweden are in Group F with world champions Germany, Mexico and South Korea and open their account against the Koreans on Monday in Nizhny Novgorod.

Germany, though, will be the mountain to climb.

“Germany is the Deutsche-machine. You know they will do good, and they always do good,” Ibrahimovic said.

“And I always say a good team doesn’t have 11 players, they have 22 fantastic players. And with Germany, it’s not like you have a star; I think the team is the star, and that’s why they’re so strong.”

Ibrahimovic also said he thought Brazil “will do something out of the limits”, as they look to rebound from their nightmare 7-1 thrashing by Germany in the 2014 World Cup semi-finals in their own country.

Editing by Ken Ferris

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