LOS ANGELES: Los Angeles Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has backed his homeland Sweden to win the World Cup ahead of a quarter-final showdown Saturday against England.
The Swedes have advanced to the World Cup´s last eight for the first time since 1994 and 36-year-old striker Ibrahimovic, Sweden´s all-time top scorer with 62 goals, has been vocal about their trophy bid.
“They have a big chance to win the World Cup,” Ibrahimovic said. “They beat Mexico (in group stage), which was good and they made a big statement by winning against the Swiss,” Ibrahimovic said in a posting on his Major League Soccer club´s website.
“They´re going well and doing things that no one thought they could do. They believe, and they thought they could do it. They´re making good things, and hopefully, they could continue.
“We are there to push them. Every Swedish person in the world is proud and we will be proud however it goes in the coming games.”
Ibrahimovic, who has 10 goals this season for the Galaxy, has spent his career among some of Europe´s greatest clubs, including Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United for the past two seasons.
Ibrahimovic´s advice for Sweden is simple — more of the same.
“They should continue doing what they´re doing,” Ibrahimovic said. “It´s difficult to play against them and to score against them. If they can keep it up, they have a good chance.
“Now, it´s not only about how good you are, but there are a lot of emotions in the game. It´s a quarterfinal, and a lot of emotions come into the game. Whoever can handle that best has an advantage.
“When Sweden wins, let´s see what David Beckham tells me.”