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FOOTBALL

Zlatan voted Sweden’s most popular sportsman

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, AC Milan star and captain of the national team, is by far the most popular sportsman in Sweden, a new survey published by Sveriges Television (SVT) and Aftonbladet on Wednesday showed.

Zlatan voted Sweden's most popular sportsman

Every fourth respondent placed the 29-year-old football star among their top three male stars, with the next best placed, cross-country skier Marcus Hellner notching only 10.2 percent, followed by fellow winter Olympian Björn Ferry, who fetched 6.2 percent.

After an average year by his standards in the colours of Barcelona, Ibrahimovic has taken the Serie A by storm after his return to Milan, winning plaudits from across the football world.

“He doesn’t get the credit he deserves,” said Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho only last week in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport.

But in Sweden, few sports stars are given the respect and admiration as the most famous son of one of Malmö’s tougher neighbourhoods, Rosengård. Ibrahimovic has won the “Golden Ball” for best Swedish player, in five of the last six years, and he was named captain on his return to the Swedish national team in the autumn.

There are some regional differences in the support shown for Ibrahimovic in the poll, with him claiming the nomination of 10.2 percent of those resident in the north of Sweden, and a whopping 40.1 percent of those living in the populous south of the country.

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FOOTBALL

Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match

Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, a day ahead of the country's Nations League match with Sweden, the Croatian football federation (HNS) said.

Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match
Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic (left) tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. Photo: Miguel Medina / AFP
“Brozovic's Inter Milan and Swedish epidemiologists were informed about the positive test,” an HNS statement said.
   
The player's positive result came two days after defender Domagoj Vida was informed of a positive Covid-19 test after playing the first half of a friendly with Turkey in Istanbul.
   
Apart from Brozovic, 27, one staff member also tested positive.
   
They were both isolated from other members of the national team.
   
After Sweden, Croatia play another Nations League game against Portugal on Tuesday.
   
Croatia, runners-up at the 2018 World Cup, are third in their Nations League group which also includes France, the team that beat them to the World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and Sweden.
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