Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 'Machine' Germany should defend 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."

World Cup 2018 must-reads

- Make your picks with ESPN FC Match Predictor 2018!

- Welcome to the Alternative 2018 World Cup Fans' Guide

- ESPN FC's experts make their picks

- Marvel's amazing World Cup spoilers

- Revealed: World Cup 2018 Ultimate XI

- Fixtures, results and full coverage

- Team-by-team previews of all 32 nations

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.

Related Video
Will there be a first-time World Cup winner in 2018?
Will there be a first-time World Cup winner in 2018?
The FC crew assess how many teams are capable of winning the 2018 World Cup and whether a first-time winner could emerge in Russia.

World Cup Power Rankings: Brazil top; where are Mexico?
World Cup Power Rankings: Brazil top; where are Mexico?
The FC crew break down ESPN's World Cup power rankings, which are led by Brazil, Germany and Spain while omitting Mexico from the top 10.

Destination Russia - Sweden
Destination Russia - Sweden
Sweden took out World Cup perennials Italy in qualifying, but will the absence of their perennial talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic mean a short World Cup?
Copyright © 2020 ESPN Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.