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Sweden took out World Cup perennials Italy in qualifying, but will the absence of their perennial talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic mean a short World Cup?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic said that Germany will be the team to beat in the World Cup.

The former Sweden international, whose national team has been grouped with Germany, Mexico and South Korea, believes the 2014 winners will be able to defend their title in Russia.

“Germany is the Deutsche machine,” Ibrahimovic said in Moscow at a sponsor’s event. “You know they will do good, and they always do good.

“And I always say, a good team doesn’t have 11 players, they have 22 fantastic players. And with Germany, it’s not like you have a star. I think the team is the star, and that’s why they’re so strong.”


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Ibrahimovic also believes Sweden should simply enjoy themselves at the World Cup because without him in the team, there are no expectations of success.

“I think Sweden, they have less pressure when I’m not there, because when I’m there we’re supposed to win everything,” Ibrahimovic said.

“Just enjoy. No pressure, because I’m not there.”

The LA Galaxy forward, who played 116 times for Sweden over 15 years, also predicted Brazil “will do something out of the limits” as they look to rebound from their 7-1 semifinal exit against Germany in their own country four years ago.