Italy's Daniele De Rossi admits he’s glad Sweden don’t have Zlatan Ibrahimovic anymore - “at 40 with a broken leg I’d never want Ibra against me”.
The Manchester United striker retired from international duty after Euro 2016, and is recovering from a cruciate ligament injury in any case.
“The fact there there’s no Ibrahimovic is an advantage for anyone who has to face them,” De Rossi explained in today’s Press conference from Coverciano.
“Even at 40 with a broken leg I’d never want Ibra against me. It could be an advantage, it’s certainly better that he’s not there.
“It’s not that the rest of them are strangers though, we know them because some of them play in Italy and others play in important European leagues. They’re no mugs.
“If the World Cup is important for me, when I’ve already played three, let’s think how important it is for those who have never been there.
“Going to the World Cup is everything. San Siro will be sold out, so it’ll be a great stage and we’ll have to prove we belong there and stand up to it.
“To ask for faith from the fans would be inappropriate right now, it’s not the right time. We have to win this game.
“We’re strong, maybe better than Sweden, but there’s a little bit of fear that right now is almost necessary.
“Football is a lot more open now, the great players aren’t just in the big European counties, or Brazil and Argentina. There’s a lot of confidence in the dressing room though.”
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £9.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://www.premiersports.com/subscribenow