NewslettersSign inAPP
spainSPAINargentinaARGENTINAchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOperuPERUlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA


Hamren: "Zlatan can thrive in the Premier League"

"If Zlatan is motivated mentally, then he can stay at the top for several more years," the Sweden manager said during an interview.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marquinhos celebrate PSG's League Cup win.

Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic could still thrive in the Premier League despite being nearly 35 years old, his national team manager Erik Hamren said on Tuesday.

Ibrahimovic, whose contract with club Paris St Germain expires in the close season, has been linked with a host of teams around the world, including those in the Premier League.

Yet his subdued performance in the second leg of PSG's Champions League quarter-final defeat to Manchester City prompted questions about whether he was too old for the rough and tumble of the English top flight.

When asked if Ibrahimovic, who has scored 32 goals in 27 Ligue 1 games this season, could still succeed in the Premier League, Hamren said that he can thrive wherever he chooses, as long as he remains focused.

"If Zlatan is motivated mentally, then he can stay at the top for several more years," Hamren, who will step down from the Sweden job after Euro 2016, told Reuters in an interview at the headquarters of the Swedish FA in Stockholm.

"That's the big question for him and for many other players. They have to work hard to stay at that level, match after match, month after month, year after year. One of the things that impresses me most about Zlatan is that he always wants to get better, and that is why he has been so good for so long, improving every year, even though he's over 30."

Ibrahimovic, who turns 35 in October, scored three of Sweden's four goals in a two-legged Euro 2016 playoff victory over neighbours Denmark, to secure their spot at the tournament finals.

Sweden will meet Italy in Toulouse on June 17 and Belgium in Nice five days later, but it is their opening match against Ireland on June 13 that is their key game, Hamren said.

"Ireland and ourselves are the underdogs in our group, and we're quite close to one another in the rankings. With regard to who's going to win or lose, it's very open," the 58-year-old coach explained. "The team that wins that game has a very good chance of progressing. Even if we draw or lose, we still have a chance to go through, but it will be a lot smaller. It's a real key game."


To be able to comment you must be registered and logged in. Forgot password?