Apparently not everyone in Sweden looks up to Zlatan Ibrahimovic as Sampdoria’s Swedish midfielder Albin Ekdal is unimpressed.
It turns out that a dose of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in your team is not always the best thing.
The AC Milan striker is regarded as a national hero for the most part in Sweden. He left the Scandinavia nation as a young prodigious talent and has traveled the world showcasing himself as the pride of Sweden.
The now 38-year-old striker has played at some of the largest clubs in the world and has represented his national team a record 116 times with 62 goals.
Ibrahimovic is not only an imposing physical presence in any team, but his personality makes him a larger than life character. In fact, if you probably asked him he would tell you he is the largest character in life.
According to Ekdal, this was a problem with the national team, especially with the younger, less experienced players.
Speaking to Sverige Radio he reveals it was like one plus ten others, rather than a team of 11.
“Many players couldn’t handle his gesturing and sharp comments which shot holes in the confidence of some players.”
“Probably many people couldn’t handle his massive winning mentality and temperament which he has, despite everything which has taken him to the best clubs in the world and made him Sweden’s best player of all time.”
“He was the one who was supposed to do it, leading Sweden through thick and thin. National team manager Erik Hamren had given him the baton and made him the captain, and the rest of us were supposed to put our trust in him.”
“Our team consisted of one superstar and 10 decent players around him helping him to dominate. That idea didn’t pan out.”
Ekdal’s Sampdoria is rearing to face Ibrahimovoc’s AC Milan in Serie A,. I’m not sure it is a wise idea to prod “the lion” right before you get in the cage with him.