Before the 2018 World Cup starts in Moscow next 14 June, Brussels Express will present all EU national teams involved in the competition. Chapter VIII: Sweden.
How does Sweden sound to Italians? Probably painful, as Sweden after it defeated Italy during the play-offs, the country didn’t qualify of for the World Cup – the first time in 60 years.
That’ been the Swedish team’s biggest achomplisment over the last couple of months. But, fans and teammates alike were shocked when their star player Zlatan Ibrahimovic was not to select by the manager to participate in this competition. Sweden will therefore rely on other leaders.
The qualifying rounds were quite good, as Swedish was ranked 2nd in its group, just after France, which is one of the favourite teams to win, and before the Netherlands, quite a solid side.
Although the first round will be quite challenging vs. Germany, winning against Mexico and South Korea does not seem impossible. Sweden is definitely not the favourite team for the World Cup, but football is always surprising…
Key player: Victor Nilsson Lindelöf
Is there a life after Zlatan Ibrahimovic? It’s worth wondering such a question, as Zlatan was sort of the most famous Swedish cliché, together with Ikea and Volvo. Although there is no big star in the Swedish national team, Victor Nilsson Lindelöf is probably the one who can offer his mates the high-level experience.
He is still young (23 years-old) but he has already won three Portuguese championships with Benfica, as well as he participated in 5 games of Champion’s League this season. It then might be up to him to lead the Swedes.
18 June – Sweden vs. South Korea.
23 June – Germany vs. Sweden.
27 June – Mexico vs. Sweden.
Places to watch the games in Brussels:
Public House. As Public house will be full of German fans, would you like to have a couple of beers with your rivals?