Victor Lindelof kicked off his Euro 2020 campaign with a man of the match display for Sweden against Spain last night.
The Swedes had to endure a lot of pressure on a sweltering night in Seville, but Lindelof marshalled the defence to a clean sheet.
Speaking on BBC’s coverage of the game (13 mins), former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand said he thinks Lindelof is a different player for his country.
He believes Lindelof thrives on being the main man in his country’s back four and that international football suits him more.
When host Gary Lineker put it to Ferdinand that Lindelof seems to bring out his very best form for his country, the former United defender said: “His game suits the international game a lot better.
“The Premier League’s very quick – the physicality as well. This is more of a thinking defender’s game when you play international football.
“That definitely suits him, he’s someone who likes to read and cover. And with this team, he seems like he’s the main man in that backline.
“He’s taken on that responsibility, he’s warmed to that. That suits him. You can see him, when he plays in that yellow shirt for Sweden, he seems a very different player to what I see at Manchester United.”
Lindelof the leader for Sweden
As Ferdinand eluded to, sometimes Lindelof can be caught out by the pace and physicality of English football.
Last night, he was able to defend the penalty box and Sweden’s tactics left no space in behind him to exploit.
Lindelof is the senior man and the organiser at international level. At United, that’s Harry Maguire’s job.
It would be a surprise if Sweden made a major splash this summer but last night’s draw has given them a potential springboard to get out of the group and Lindelof’s performance was a huge factor in that.
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