Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Sean Warning Republic: Watch Ibrahimovic

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Sean Warning Republic: Watch Ibrahimovic

Article excerpt

SEAN ST LEDGER has warned Republic of Ireland they will have to shackle a man every bit as destructive as Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo if they are to prosper in Sweden tomorrow night.

Much of the talk ahead of the World Cup qualifier in Stockholm has centred on Paris St Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his potential to wreck Ireland's hopes of claiming a Group C runners-up spot. The 31-year-old has 33 goals already this season, four of them in Sweden's 4-2 friendly victory over England at the Friends Arena in November.

St Ledger said: "I have played against a few decent strikers in my time. He is up there.

"He's a very, very good striker. I think you could probably put him in a category with people like Messi and Ronaldo. He can win games by himself with magic moments. He showed that against England."

Ibrahimovic's talent is wellknown, but his critics argue he blows hot and cold.

St Ledger said: "Let's hope he has a cold one this week.

"I wouldn't say I've watched loads and loads of games of his over the full 90 minutes, so it would be very harsh for me to judge him on that. …

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