Former Paris Saint-Germain star Zlatan Ibrahimovic may face Nigeria at the 2016 Olympic Games. Coach Hakan Ericson named him in the provisional 35-man squad list for the competition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. However, the squad will be whittled down to 22 players in mid-July. Only three of those squad members born before 1993 are expected to make the final list.
Nigeria will face Japan in their first game on August 4 at the Amazônia Arena Manaus.
The former Juventus, Barcelona, Inter Milan and PSG striker is one of seven players above the age limit that made the roster, but it remains unclear if he will feature in the Games. A decision is expected from him after the ongoing European Championship.
The Dream Team VI will face Sweden, Colombia and Japan in Group B of the preliminary round of the 2016 Olympics men’s football event.
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Nigeria U23 coach Samson Siasia a few weeks ago said that he isn’t scared of threats from the 34-year old strike Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“There is nothing to fear about Zlatan Ibrahimovich starring for the Swedish team and James Rodriguez staring for Colombia in our Group. These two countries already know their weak areas that they want these mentioned want to come and cover up. So they already have a team on ground.
“But we don’t know yet because we are trying to put up a team that would determine which three over aged players we would want to bring. But Sweden and Colombia already know their grey areas.
“Those names like Ibramnovic and Rodriguez won’t scare us. It is about the team not about an individual. We have played about bigger names before in competitions. We played against an Argentine team that had Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Huguain, Angel Di Maria and other big players.
“So we are not scared about the names. We just need to put up a team that hold its own against any team, I mean a team that we can all be proud of?
“We need to think well on the over aged players we want to invite. I don’t want to mention names now that later if those names are not there they will be so much disappointed,” he concluded.