Zlatan Ibrahimović said it was "difficult to describe the feeling" after scoring twice on his return to Malmo as Sweden defeated San Marino 6-0 to maintain their perfect start to UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying.
The former Malmö FF striker was making his first appearance in his home town for nine years, and responded by scoring Sweden's first and fifth goals in front of a number of family and friends. "I had given away more than 40 tickets before the match; I would have liked to have had 21,000," said the AC Milan striker.
The 28-year-old had his name sung througout to the tune of The Village People's Go West, and left the field to a standing ovation in the 82nd minute. "It's difficult to describe the feeling," Ibrahimović said. "
It felt fantastic – from the warm-up to the final whistle. When we were down to ten men, the fans became our eleventh man."
Mellberg will be suspended when the Blågult travel to the Netherlands to tackle their fellow Group E pacesetters on 12 October. Coach Erik Hamrén waited until the interval to replace the experienced centre-back with Andreas Granqvist, Ola Toivonen making way, and within five minutes he had scored his first international goal.
"Erik told me straight away to start warming up and that I would come on at half-time," Granqvist said. "
After the goal any nerves that might have been troubling me just disappeared." Granqvist plays his league football for Dutch side FC Groningen, so would clearly relish starting in Amsterdam next month. "I think I improved my chances today," he said. "It can't be bad to win and also score."
©UEFA.com 1998-2015. All rights reserved.