Skip to main content

There's life after Ibrahimovic for Sweden - Hamren

Sweden coach Erik Hamren is adamant there is life after Zlatan Ibrahimovic following the striker's announcement that he will retire from international football at the conclusion of their Euro 2016 campaign.

Ibrahimovic could play his last game for Sweden when they take on Belgium in Wednesday's decisive Group E encounter.

The 34-year-old has long since been Sweden's talisman and is his country's record goalscorer, finding the net 62 times in international football.

Sweden boast few well-known names in their squad beyond Ibrahimovic, but Hamren feels they have plenty of promising youngsters coming through who could make an impact.

"Maybe we don't have another Zlatan going forward but we have some exciting players," Hamren said at a media conference.

"I'm optimistic about the players going through, even though the retirement of our greatest player is a huge loss.

"I think, though, that the future is still bright for Swedish football."

Hamren then went on praise Ibrahimovic for the impact he has had on the Swedish game, putting him on the same level as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

"You'd need a whole press conference for what I'd like to say about Zlatan. I don't think we can assess his overall contribution to Sweden here. We could talk about for that hours," he added

"But he's been an important and fantastic figure for Swedish football. I don't think I'll change too much tomorrow. I heard the decision today.

"I think we have one international player at the same level as Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and that's Ibra. We have many players who play in good European sides but we don't have anyone else like Zlatan."