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Wilmots: You cannot compare Ibrahimovic to Ronaldo

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots has stressed Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is nothing like Cristiano Ronaldo as they prepare for their final Group E encounter at Euro 2016.

Ronaldo was on target in a 2-1 friendly win when the Belgians locked horns with Portugal back in March.

Belgium face another tough task to try to contain a world-class attacker in Ibrahimovic on Wednesday, but Wilmots has stressed the two cannot be compared.

“You can’t compare Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo. They are very different. One is very quick and the other is very dangerous inside the area,” the Belgium coach said at a media conference.

“We have to keep Ibrahimovic away from our goal. He often dropped into midfield against Italy and he cannot be dangerous there.

“But he is an exceptional player, he is world class.”

The match in Nice could be Ibrahimovic’s final appearance for Sweden, with the attacker to retire from international football after Euro 2016, and Wilmots expects the striker to cause Belgium plenty of problems.

“It will be an emotional game for Sweden. We respect Ibrahimovic as a player, but it will not affect us,” Wilmots added.

“He will give his all in what could be his last match. He has had a magnificent career, but he will want to end on a positive note. We cannot think it will be easy for us.”

A draw would see Belgium through to the knockout stages, but Wilmots was adamant they will play to win the game.

“There is a lot of stake here. After this match we know where we can go this tournament,” he continued.

“Results are important, but we always want to score goals as well. We have a very attack-minded team. It’s not a problem if we miss chances. It’s important that we create chances.

“I don’t want to play for a goalless draw. We could then concede a late goal and that would be disastrous. It all depends on what Sweden will do as well. But we always want to attack.”

Belgium will potentially be without Yannick Ferreira Carrasco and Mousa Dembele due to injury, with both to undergo late fitness tests.

Tue 21 Jun, 2016
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