Answering questions about the UEFA Champions League group stage, Sweden’s Joonas Hägglund told ESPNcricinfo that there will be “no doubt” in the minds of most fans about the outcome of the semi-finals.
“We have to be very careful not to say too much too soon.
This is not the final, but a great chance to prove ourselves.
I think it’s important to show everyone that we are still one of the best teams in Europe.
There are no excuses,” he said.”
It will be interesting to see how the other teams react and what happens after the quarter-final.
There will be no doubt that this will be a great event.
We have been preparing so that we can play at a very high level.
We are looking forward to it.”
The Sweden Under-21s have won three of their last four group games to qualify for the knockout stages with Häglund claiming the trophy after a 2-1 aggregate victory over the Czech Republic in Prague on Sunday.
“This is a big step forward for the team and for us.
We know we have a lot of work to do.
We can’t just focus on ourselves and do our job.
We must be prepared,” the former striker said.
Häggld, who is currently with Swedish side FC Köln, also revealed that he was the target of criticism during his time in Sweden, particularly after failing to qualify from the group stage.
“I was a bit of a target in Sweden and they did some things that were very negative.
I have to do something to make myself the better player, the better person,” he added.”
When you play well, the criticism is always there.
It’s not something that happens in my head, it’s something that is in my heart.”