Group E is one of the most exciting groups of this year’s European Championships, and has been dubbed by some as ‘the Group of Death’. With the FIFA ranked second-best team in the world (Belgium), previous European Championship winners Italy (who won the World Cup as recently as a decade ago), a Zlatan Ibrahimovic-inspired Swedish side, and a Republic of Ireland appearing at only their third European Championships but bound to have vociferous support, it is not hard to get enthusiastic about Group E.
Over the next few pages, The Boot Room have come up with five players to watch from Group E of the 2016 European Championships. Leave any suggestions for players that we have missed out in the comments section below.
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic in many ways is the hopes of a nation at this year’s tournament, in a similar vein to Gareth Bale or Cristiano Ronaldo for their respective nations. Regardless of where he ends up domestically next season, the 34-year-old from Malmo is captain of his country, and his form in a yellow shirt will very much determine how much success the Scandinavian nation have in France.
Whatever your personal opinion is of Zlatan, who admittedly is a rather controversial and divisive character, you are very hard pressed to argue against his goal scoring exploits. Wherever he’s been over his now long and distinguished career winning 13 domestic titles (if you include the ones “won” by Juventus in 2005 and 2006) in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and France, and even hit 50 goals in all competitions in the 2015/16 season for PSG.
Zlatan made his international debut way back in 2001, and now wearing the armband of his nation it is he who will be a huge determinant in how far Sweden will progress in the tournament.