Zlatan Ibrahimovic unfamiliar with England players

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic has admitted that Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney is the only player he knows from the current England team.

Rooney was confirmed as the Three Lions captain after Steven Gerrard's decision to retire from international football after the World Cup, and is closing in on Bobby Charlton's national goalscoring record.

He was also named as Manchester United captain after Nemanja Vidic's departure from Old Trafford - which is seemingly enough to help him register on Ibrahimovic's radar.


The so-called 'Golden Generation' of English football have retired, so familiar faces such as John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and of course Gerrard are no longer on the scene - making way for a new wave of younger talent to strut their stuff for Roy Hodgson.

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While that bodes well for England as the look to recover from their disastrous World Cup campaign in Brazil over the summer - it means they are unrecognisable to Ibrahimovich.

The Swedish star was asked in an interview with the Guardian for his thoughts on the England national team. He responded: “I do like [Wayne] Rooney. For me he has a lot of hunger when he plays. I think he’s good for the team.


“The rest? I cannot judge them because I don’t know them.”

The Paris Saint-Germain striker had more sympathy for England as a whole following their World Cup debacle. They failed to register a win and crashed out at the group stages in Brazil, prompting a wholesale enquiry from the FA.

Things are looking brighter for Hodgson following his side's winning start to their Euro 2016 campaign - a streak they should extend against San Marino on Thursday.

Despite that, Ibrahimovic is full of sympathy for England's plight and the pressure they face at major tournaments.


They have so much pressure on them. Everybody [in England] expects them to win the World Cup,” he said.

Even if Ibrahimovic doesn't remember them, England will find it difficult to shake the memory of the striker after he scored four goals against the Three Lions when the teams last met - including a sensational 40-yard scorpion kick.

“I take risks in the way I play so sometimes it doesn’t look ‘wow’," he continued. "But then came England. They were saying the same thing about me but I just said it will be fantastic – the first match in our new stadium.

"The first goal came and I was happy. When the second came I was crazy. And when the third went in I looked around. ‘OK, what will you say now?’ With the fourth, the bicycle-kick, I thought, ‘That’s it. I don’t know what more I can do.’ Even if you live in England I have to say it gave me an extra-special feeling.”

Manchester United
England Football
Wayne Rooney
Premier League

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