Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Steven Gerrard should go to 'big foreign club'

 

The Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic said yesterday that Steven Gerrard should have left Liverpool to broaden his horizons at a "big international club", ahead of tonight's friendly between their two nations.

The well-travelled Ibrahimovic was lavish in his praise of Gerrard, who he said was not like the archetypal English player, but asked why he had not tested himself abroad. "Of course Liverpool is a big club but I would like to see Steven in a big international club," Ibrahimovic said. "It is very exciting when someone goes abroad and shows who he is in another competition. For me, a fantastic player can make a difference in every country wherever he plays and I'm pretty sure that Steven will do that.

"I think [he has a] big heart, always fighting, aggressive. Steven Gerrard is more international, [has] more skills than a normal player. England is used to playing 4-4-2 and the big teams in the Premier League play 4-3-3 with a lot of foreign players. English players are big and strong. But it is developing like every other competition and every other country. It is a fantastic team with fantastic players."

Get Adobe Flash player

The Sweden coach, Erik Hamren, had to admit yesterday that he had not heard of England's newest squad member, the Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha. "Wilfried Zaha? I know a '[Louis] Saha' but I don't know if it's the right one," Hamren said

"No, I don't know about him. Sometimes you get carried away [about players]. But that's also something that, in sport, we need those heroes or those stars. Sometimes you make a star too early. It's better to make him a star when he is a star in world football. I hope he's not a star tomorrow but in the future."

Hamren said that he was one of a generation of Swedish coaches who was influenced by Roy Hodgson, a major figure in Swedish football who won seven league titles with Halmstads and Malmo between 1976 and 1989.

Hamren said: "He [Hodgson] has a good reputation here. I really like him as a coach and as a person. He's someone I've always spoken to. I was a young coach when I first met him and he gave me his knowledge and experience. He has been really good for Swedish football, acclaimed by all our coaches who have learned a lot from him. There's big respect for him."

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test