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Rio Olympics: Sweden to unleash Zlatan on Nigeria

17/04/2016

/ by Biyi Akangbe

Sweden’s coach, Hakan Ericson, has revealed plans to include Zlatan Ibrahimovic as an over aged player in his squad for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The men’s Olympic football tournament is contested by under-23 players, but each squad is allowed three older players.

Calling up Ibrahimovic appears difficult for Ericson, as the striker is also due to lead Sweden’s senior team at the European Championship in June.

But the player has previously said he would like to play in Rio and the coach hopes that uncertainty over his club future – he is being linked with a host of top English clubs – could play into his hands.

“I hope to use over-age players and I hope that Zlatan will be available, but it depends on which club he will play for and on the European Championships,” said Ericson. “If he is available, I want him to play for us.”

Sweden were drawn with Colombia, Nigeria and Japan in August’s Olympic tournament, with the first two games to be played in Manuas.

“It’ll be very hard to play Nigeria and Colombia in the Amazon, while Japan (who they face in Salvador) are a good footballing side,” Ericson said.

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