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Baines in awe of Ibrahimovic

England defender Leighton Baines paid tribute to Zlatan Ibrahimovic after he stole the show in Sweden’s 4-2 friendly win over England.

Ibrahimovic scored all four of Sweden’s goals in Wednesday’s friendly in Solna, including a spectacular overhead kick for the fourth.

Baines said he was in awe of the PSG striker’s performance.

“It was one of those special moments (Ibrahimovic’s fourth) you are not going to see many of those and sometimes you have just got to applaud people like that,” the Everton man said.

“He is a fantastic player and it was his night tonight, fair play to him.”

Baines said the turf at the brand new Friends Arena was less than ideal, but said he had experienced similar conditions when the new Wembley Stadium pitch was laid.

“It was not perfect, obviously it is a new stadium and the pitch was laid fairly late in the process leading up to the game so it wasn’t quite as good as it could be,” he said.

“But we have had those problems early on at Wembley and now we have a fantastic pitch there now, in time I am sure it will be alright.”

Baines’ club team-mate Leon Osman made his debut for England in the match, and he was also impressed with Ibrahimovic’s performance.

“There are mixed emotions, I am delighted to have made my debut and to have played 90 minutes for my country, how could I be happier, but it is tinged with a bit of sadness that I was on the losing side today,” Osman said.

“He (Ibrahimovic) seemed really up for the game tonight and when a player of that quality is up for a game it is difficult to stop them.”

Thu 15 November, 2012
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