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FOOTBALL

Sweden coach: Ignore all the Zlatan-Ronaldo hype

Sweden coach Erik Hamren has warned his team not to get carried away by the hype surrounding Friday's World Cup play-off duel between superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Sweden coach: Ignore all the Zlatan-Ronaldo hype
Sweden coach Erik Hamren speaks to reporters in Lisbon, Portugal on Thursday, November 14th. Photo: AP

Portugal and Sweden meet in Lisbon in the first leg of their European zone play-off with the return scheduled for Stockholm on Tuesday.

One of the two iconic players, both captains of their national sides, is destined to miss out on the finals in Brazil next summer.

"There is clearly a duel between them. But we must, above all, be good as a team," said Hamren.

SEE ALSO: Zlatan's career in pictures

"Ronaldo is important. He's a great star, a world class player, but we are playing Portugal and not just Ronaldo."

Real Madrid star Ronaldo returns from suspension for the game in front of 61,000 fans at Lisbon's Stadium of Light.

"All of the players are able to play. Tomorrow we will decide which 11 will start but normally we stay with the core of the team," said Portugal coach Paulo Bento.

"Sweden are good in the air and play direct football. But the team has what's needed to achieve our goal of reaching the World Cup.

"Against Sweden, we must work as a team and quickly impose our game."

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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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