Manchester United Zlatan Ibrahimovic has said Sweden are not as good as they were after his retirement but still believes the team will be able to match Italy in their World Cup qualifying playoff.The 36 year old former Paria Saint-Germain forward retired from international football after Sweden were eliminated from Euro 2016 in France.Speaking to Sky Sport Italia, Zlatan said his retirement had left a void in the national side but added that Sweden may now be “more of a team.”He said: “When Sweden play now, they don’t play with any pressure. “When I was playing everybody was expecting us to win the Euros and the World Cup, obviously because that’s the pressure I put myself under and that’s the pressure put on me from outside. It’s something that I like.“Nowadays, if Sweden win or lose, it’s not like when I played. If I listen to my ego, I have to say that when I played we were better — without me, they are not so good.“Without Ibrahimovic maybe they are more of a team now but, as I’ve said, the difference is playing with pressure and expectations and playing without — now they started from scratch again, everybody has the chance to prove themselves.“When I was there, there was a different pressure. The squad was already made with a coach who had been there years. Now they have a new coach, less experience with new players — they’ve started over.”Sweden will host Italy in Solna on Friday before the teams meet in the return at the San Siro on Monday for a ticket to the World Cup in Russia.
Story By: Felix Okaijah