Lagerback blasts Swedish media

Sweden coach Lars Lagerback has criticized the media in his homeland for disrupting the preparations of his team for Euro 2008.

The Swedish media has been accused of misquoting striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic in an attempt to generate headlines at home.

Ibrahimovic had been questioned by the Swedish press on Friday, and praised younger members of the national team panel. The Inter forward suggested that he hoped Sebastian Larsson and Fredrik Stoor would be included in the manager's plans for the tournament.

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However, these seemingly innocuous comments have manifested themselves as a denouncement on the talents of team captain Freddie Ljungberg, as well as an attempt to influence the starting line-up, in the eyes of the press in Sweden.

Lagerback believes that the media have manipulated the comments into a thinly veiled insult towards the West Ham forward and deliberately misconstrued Zlatan's opinions.

Lagerback was similarly critical during the 2006 World Cup when a tabloid campaign began in an attempt to see Kim Kallstrom replace Anders Svensson in midfield.

The manager opened a press conference by addressing the problem and said that 'words were put in Zlatan's mouth' by the media.

He said: "I know Zlatan significantly better than you, the way I understood it, he was only pushing two younger players that he thinks have made progress."

"If there's anything that can affect the players, it is things like this," Lagerback concluded.

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