‘Sweden shut Zlatan’s mouth’: The best reactions to Sweden’s qualification for the World Cup last 16

Sweden pulled off the remarkable feat of defeating Mexico 3-0, finishing top of group F and qualifying for the last 16 of the 2018 World Cup with an outstanding performance in Ekaterinburg, and understandably that hasn't passed unnoticed. The Local rounds up the best reaction to a dream night for the Swedes.

'Sweden shut Zlatan's mouth': The best reactions to Sweden's qualification for the World Cup last 16
Albin Ekdal celebrating Sweden's 3-0 win over Mexico. Photo: Gregorio Borgia/AP

The mastermind of Sweden's path to meeting Switzerland in the knockout phase is Janne Andersson, and though the coach is generally understated, even he decided to let a bit of pride show in the aftermath of the Mexico win.

“These players are extremely smart and loyal to the way we play, and this couldn't have happened otherwise. It's a real team, both the coaches and the players,” Andersson told Göteborgs Posten.

The feeling is mutual, with the Sweden players heaping praise on their boss.

“It's really easy to play for Janne, he doesn't demand more than what we can give. But he demands we do what we do to the maximum, 100 percent, and that makes us so good,” Gustav Svensson explained.

“Janne is a character. He's unbelievably calm though, and almost like an uncle or granddad standing by the side,” striker Marcus Berg noted.

The Swedish press also gushed over the World Cup campaign so far, and the most excited of the bunch was Aftonbladet's Erik Niva. He compared the current run to the 1994 World Cup, where a team featuring the likes of Tomas Brolin and Henrik Larsson became legends of Swedish football by finishing third.

“When was the last time we produced as good a match at a tournament as this? Bulgaria at the start of the 2004 Euros? No, not good enough. Doing all of this with so much effort and the group of players we have now is even more impressive. This is the best we’ve seen in 24 years, since you know when,” Niva proclaimed.

The Sweden fans were also overjoyed, and one of the highlights is this video of them and Mexico supporters putting aside their differences after the final whistle and celebrating the mutual joy of eliminating Germany.

Even Sweden's captain Andreas Granqvist looked particularly thrilled to hear the news about the reigning champions, who caused controversy when two of their members of staff celebrated aggressively in Sweden’s face after Toni Kroos scored a last-minute winner against the Swedes.

There was also plenty of praise for the Nordic nation in the international media. The Independent's Miguel Delaney pondered if the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic coinciding with Sweden’s two most recent appearances at a World Cup is a coincidence

Spanish sport daily Marca had a similar take, noting that Sweden had “shut Ibrahimovic's mouth”, in reference to the striker’s claim that he would have been better than Sweden’s current crop in Russia. “Sweden deserve to be left in peace by Ibrahimovic,” they concluded.

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