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'Keane is a great player' -- respect from Ibra for Robbie ahead of Stockholm showdown

The talismanic striker says he’s ready for anything, Trap’s side throw at him.

'Paul Green you say?'
'Paul Green you say?'
Image: inpho

WHATEVER GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI’s team are going to do to stop Zlatan Ibrahimovic, be it fair or otherwise, the Swedish forward says he is “prepared for everything”.

Ibrahimovic was speaking after Robbie Keane had joked that Ireland’s best defence may be to “kick” the attacker, ahead of the World Cup qualifier in Stockholm on Friday night.

“I’m prepared for everything,” Ibrahimovic says. “Opponents have to do everything to stop the other team. That’s what we have to do also. Let’s see what the game will be like. Hopefully it will be a nice game and nobody gets injured.”

The forward, meanwhile, dismissed the notion that there were any differences between his performances for Paris Saint-Germain, and those for his country.

“No difference at all, same Zlatan.”

Ibrahimovic was also full of praise for both Keane and Trapattoni.

“Keane is a great player,” the Swede said. “He’s had a great career and is over in America now, doing good there. He is a dangerous striker, as he showed in the Premier League, and a great player to watch.

“I don’t know [Trapattoni] personally or as a coach but you see his results, he’s done fantastic work, has had a fantastic career and is very respected.

“It will be hard game against a good opponents. Trapattoni has set up a good strategy for his team. Hopefully we will control the game and it will go like we want it.”

Regarding the criticism Trapattoni has received in Ireland, Ibrahimovic simply said “if he’s questioned, hopefully not.”

Swedish manager Erik Hamren, meanwhile, spoke of how to get the best out of his Ibrahimovic and the player’s free role for his country.

“For me, there’s a little too much discussion on that, if he’s number nine or 10. He’s one of two forwards. If you want, you can say we’re playing 4-4-2. He’s free. He’s allowed to go down and pick up the balls and fine the space behind the number-nine, and sometimes he’s the front guy. He’s got that role. In my opinion, that’s the way to use him best. He takes the run too, as he showed in the scoring against England, but he can’t take them all the time. His body is not built for that so we need players to do that too. So you’ll see him in different styles.”

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