TOULOUSE, France (Reuters) - Zlatan Ibrahimovic would thrive in any league in the world according to Italy coach Antonio Conte, whose team face the striker’s Sweden side at Euro 2016 on Friday.
“Zlatan is such a great player that he could play in any league in the world,” Conte told reporters. “I see no reason why he wouldn’t make an impact in any league, in any country.”
Conte, who is joining Chelsea after the Euros, has no doubt Ibrahimovic could transfer his dazzling Ligue 1 form to England.
The 34-year-old, a free agent after leaving Paris St-Germain at the end of last season, has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United, who are now managed by Jose Mourinho.
Sweden coach Erik Hamren has said the uncertainty over the striker’s club future was not affecting his squad.
But Ibra will be expected to improve on his subdued showing in Sweden’s opening 1-1 Group E draw with Ireland when he was easily contained by a determined defence in Paris.
Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon believes Ibrahimovic’s quality and self-belief makes him a formidable opponent.
“Clearly we are wary of Zlatan because he is one of a small group of absolute superstars that really make the difference for the teams they play for,” Buffon told reporters on Thursday.
Ibrahimovic scored 38 league goals last season to break PSG’s club scoring record as they romped to a fourth successive French title and their second straight treble.
Editing by Ken Ferris