(Reuters) – Italy are wary of the threat Sweden captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic poses but they can win Friday’s Euro 2016 match in the same way they defeated Belgium, midfielder Daniele De Rossi has said.
The 34-year-old Ibrahimovic, who has scored 62 goals for Sweden, failed to make an impact in his team’s 1-1 draw with Ireland.
De Rossi compared the former Paris St Germain striker to Dutch great Marco van Basten.
“Maybe they have less talent than Belgium so they will probably wait in their half and try to play counterattack with long balls,” De Rossi told reporters in France.
“Ibrahimovic is the best forward since the time of Van Basten, except for Ronaldo, but they are different players.
“We are a little bit scared of his power and his talent but we can beat them the same way that we can beat Belgium — with organization and by working hard on the training pitch.”
Italy, who began their campaign with a 2-0 win over Belgium to top Group E, face Ireland in their final group stage match.
(Reporting by Ian Rodricks in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)