CPH Post readers at Euro 2016: Swansongs and springtime

Surely Denmark will be supporting their northern neighbour Sweden now they’re not competing themselves in France? If the tabloids are anything to go by, the Danish public hold a begrudging admiration for Zlatan Ibrahimović, Scandinavia’s best player of recent times, who is now 34 and expected to retire from international football following the tournament.

“Don’t be too sure,” says Nicolas Fernström, the Swedish CEO and founder of efootballclub.com. “They’ll probably support England first. And then Spain and France. And even Albania before they support their rivals!”

While Sweden have not qualified for a World Cup since 2006, they’ve played in every European Championship since 2000, this time getting the better of Denmark in a playoff to qualify, but they still haven’t managed to improve on their first ever appearance – a semi-final spot as hosts in 1992.

Placed in a tough group alongside the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Italy, the Swedes will be pleased they have the Irish first, as victory will leave them well placed to qualify, even if they end up finishing, as expected, third in the group.

It’s hard to look beyond Ibrahimović when assessing the Swedish team, but with six members of the under-21 squad that triumphed in last year’s European Championship on board, this could be a lethal combination of experience and youthful enthusiasm.

“Watch out for Leipzig winger Emil Forsberg – he’s a target of both Everton and Liverpool,” tips Fernström. “And Palermo’s goal-scoring midfielder Oscar Hiljemark, who was the under-21s captain.” (BH)