Dubai: Former Sweden left-winger Christian Wilhelmsson is confident a squad without Zlatan Ibrahimovic has the ability to be equally potent at next year’s Fifa World Cup.
“Yes, they too can achieve a lot as they are so talented. I absolutely believe that they can do something amazing in Russia. It is just a matter of how much they want and how much effort they want to put and make something at the World Cup and leave a legacy behind,” Wilhelmsson said on Wednesday.
“You know and everybody knows what Ibra can do on a pitch. We shall see what he decides eventually. It is very hard to say he will be back from retirement. He is such a huge star and he has so many huge qualities. If he is fit and he feels that he can contribute then he has to be in the World Cup and for sure for the tournament itself, a player like Zlatan should be there.”
Even before the Sweden-Italy play-off, Ibrahimovic himself had put club over country and rubbished talks of an international comeback. The 36-year-old has won 116 caps for his country, scoring a record 62 goals in the bargain. But for the moment, he is concentrating on getting fully fit to serve Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.
“This team can’t miss stars,” Wilhelmsson added. “At the moment it is also about the team and the players who have made it to Russia with their hard work alone. They have done it without Ibra and they have shown they can manage without him.”