Anders Svensson has accused England of disrespecting Sweden ahead of the clash between the two teams at Euro 2012.
England have beaten Sweden just once in 43 years, and Svensson believes England’s over-confidence is the primary reason for their struggles against the Scandinavian outfit.
The 35-year-old former Southampton midfielder said England sides had constantly underestimated the Swedes, and warned Roy Hodgson’s men they could be punished if they do the same in Kiev on Friday.
He told The Mirror: “I just think maybe you think you’re a little bit better than you actually are, and we’re a little bit better than you think we are.
“Obviously England have got big, big names and big players, you have a great team, but I think you don’t think that much about the Swedish team. Never have.
“I think we’re a good team and are on the same level as England and have been for a long time.”
Svensson believes Sweden are not too far behind England on the world stage but do not receive the same respect as other elite nations.
“I just don’t think England maybe have the same respect for us as they do for countries like France or Brazil,” Svensson said.
“Maybe they shouldn’t, but I think England are a great team, although Sweden are not far behind and haven’t been for the last 10 or 15 years.”
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