Trap warning over Ibrahimovic

Giovanni Trapattoni has warned his Republic of Ireland players not to become too focused on Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Last Updated: 06/09/13 at 08:14 Post Comment

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Faces the Republic of Ireland tonight

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Faces the Republic of Ireland tonight

Giovanni Trapattoni has warned his Republic of Ireland players not to become too wrapped up in their mission to shackle Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The two sides meet at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Friday night with three priceless World Cup qualifying points at stake and with the Paris St Germain frontman representing the most significant threat to Ireland's hopes of victory.

However, while acknowledging Ibrahimovic's prowess, Trapattoni insists it would be a mistake to think he is the Swedes' only potential match-winner.

The 74-year-old Italian said: "There are players like Ibra, like (Lionel) Messi, like Robbie (Keane), the goalscorers - they have a feeling for the goal.

"A long time ago, I was a player, I was a player like 'Okay, there is Pele, put Trapattoni on Pele. Trapattoni doesn't play, Pele doesn't play'. It was okay.

"Today, football has changed and it's impossible to put Messi, for example, under lock and key. It's impossible because the team allows him to keep the ball. You can't put two men against Messi.

"Ibra is Ibra. He can score, he can play where he wants - he can play back, he can play as a striker and it will be important for us not to follow him because there are other players - there is the Sweden team."

Ibrahimovic failed to hit the heights when Ireland travelled to Stockholm in March and returned with a creditable 0-0 draw.

However, Republic skipper Robbie Keane knows he and his team-mates cannot rely upon a repeat this time around.

The 33-year-old said: "You can't play well in every game. With players like Zlatan, everyone is watching him to see what he's going to do and thinking he is going to do something special all the time.

"But sometimes, it doesn't work like that and the way we played in Stockholm certainly frustrated the Swedish team and they didn't get much service to Zlatan, so in that respect it was probably a difficult game for him.

"But you can't play well all the time and hopefully we can keep him quiet as well because we know how important he is to Sweden and at any given time, he can produce something out of nowhere, so we have to be very, very wary of him."

Keane's 59 senior international goals make him Ireland's stand-out threat to hopes, but just as he cannot do it alone, midfielder Sebastian Larsson is adamant Sweden are not a one-man team.

Asked if they are too reliant on Ibrahimovic, he said: "No, not at all. I don't see it as a concern to have a world-class striker like him in our team.

"He has helped us out a lot before when we maybe haven't reached a level that we should do.

"But at the same time, we are 11 men on the pitch and we can't just rely on him. We will all have to chip in and try to do well."


Sky Bet Free Bet Club: £10 free bet - £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

Footer 365

Angel di Maria no 'miracle' for Manchester United, warns Louis van Gaal

Angel di Maria is not Manchester United's miracle, Louis van Gaal warned at the winger's official unveiling.

Transfer news: Alex Song and Danny Welbeck linked with Tottenham

Tottenham are discussing the potential signings of Alex Song and Danny Welbeck on loan, according to Sky sources.

Premier League: Neil Warnock feels he owes Crystal Palace fans

New Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock feels he owes the club after the way his first spell in charge ended.

Mail Box

Don't Forget Chelsea Also Need A Striker

With Diego Costa struggling for fitness, one Chelsea fan pipes up in the mailbox to remind us that the Blues also need a striker. Plus, thoughts on Rooney as captain...

A United Fan Happy To See Welbeck Go

One United fan doesn't understand all the fuss over Danny Welbeck, while we also have mails on Arsenal being Arsenal, curious transfers and how to pronounce 'Gaal'...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property