Zlatan Ibrahimovic admitted that it was rather difficult for him to play the first leg of the Euro 2016 playoff for Sweden against Denmark on Saturday, after Friday’s events in Paris.
Several areas of the French capital were under attack from gunmen, one of whom reportedly tried to enter a packed Stade de France during the international friendly between France and Germany. This man was also reportedly wearing a suicide vest, fitted with a bomb.
Ibrahimovic, who plays his club football in Paris for local club Paris Saint-Germain, said that he was quite shaken after hearing reports of the attacks.
“It’s tragic what happened there. This kind of thing should never happen,” he was quoted saying in Eurosport. “I have tried to focus entirely on this game, but it was very difficult.”
Paris attacks hampered player preparations, says Sweden coach
Terror attacks like the ones carried out in Paris on Friday can leave a long-lasting impression on any player’s mind, and that is exactly what it seems to have done, according to Sweden coach Erik Hamren. The 58-year-old believes that his team was visibly affected after the Paris attacks, and they found it difficult to concentrate on their game because of it.
a The terrible and despicable has happened,a he said to The Guardian . . a We had a chat when we assembled and we must show that evil cannot be allowed to win, that football is important on days such as this.a
Both the teams now need to pull themselves together for the second leg on Tuesday, with the tie being finely balanced — Sweden have the lead, while Denmark have the away goal.