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Siasia: Zlatan not our worries

21 April 2016, 18:31Israel Ojoko

Abuja - Dream Team coach Samson Siasia says report of Zlatan Ibrahimovic representing Sweden at the football event of the 2016 Olympics in Rio, is nothing to worry about.

The U-23 gaffer said the technical crew and the players are not scared of any individual player, but would rather bother about the quality of opposition at the Olympics’ football event.

“Yes, I have read of plans by Sweden to include someone like Zlatan Ibramovich as one of their over –aged players for the Games. Good for them, but as far as we are concerned, there is nothing like fear. For us, we are trying to put up a team, and that will determine which players we are going to bring. We have played against players of stronger calibre than Zlatan. We have played against Lionel Messi and Di Maria and others.

“We would rather think of the fact that they have a strong team tha‎t will play against us, and not individual players. I don't want to jump around and start mentioning names, and later if those players are not available, we would be disappointed. So, I have to be sure of what I am doing and when that time comes we will release the names."

Also read: Siasia unbothered by Olympics draw

On the issue of players like John Mikel Obi and Ogenyi Onazi showing interest in playing for Nigeria at the Olympics, Siasia remarked: "I guess that because Mikel missed out the last time, he wants to make up for it. Not only that, the last couple of games he has played for the Super Eagles, he has been playing very well, and if he wants to be part of the team, of course he is welcome, but as I said we have to look at the positions we really, really need people.

“We are not going to select players because they play for the Super Eagles or because they are still under the age bracket. They have to compete with those players who actually qualified the team for the Olympics.”

Coach Siasia confirmed that he has sent a provisional list of 60 players for the Games. According to him, “if your name is not on that list, then no Olympics for you. That's why we put as many names as we can, we don't know the Europe -based players whose clubs would release for the Games.”

The U-23 coach said he smiled and stood near Brazil coach, Dunga after the draws at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro: “I told myself this is the man I would be playing against in the Final Match!”

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- News24


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