Capello hails Ibrahimovic class

12 November 2011 03:17

England manager Fabio Capello is looking forward to meeting up with an old friend when his side face Sweden at Wembley on Tuesday.

Capello splashed out £15million to bring Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Juventus from Ajax in 2004 and the giant Swede lasted two seasons with the Turin club before both he and Capello moved on, with Italian going to Real Madrid and Ibrahimovic heading for Inter Milan.

"Ibrahimovic is a really good player who can decide a top-level game in a single moment," said Capello. "I bought him as Juventus manager and for this reason, I know how important he is for Sweden and what a real danger he is for every opponent."

Now 30, Ibrahimovic has an impressive goalscoring record for his country.

Despite a two-year goal drought that ended during the finals of Euro 2008, he has bagged 28 in 67 appearances for his country, netting five times during a successful Euro 2012 qualification campaign in which Sweden ended up as best runners-up to seal an automatic berth in Poland and Ukraine.

And Sweden as a nation will be defending their own remarkable record against England, having gone 13 matches unbeaten since they lost in 1965.

Eight of those meetings have ended in a draw and Capello is expecting another tough test.

"They are really good and play in a very organised way," he said.

"Everybody knows what they need to do in every moment of the game.

"It is a little country with a small population but it's always difficult to beat Sweden."

Source: PA