Former Sweden international Hakan Mild has welcomed his country’s quarter-final draw against England, claiming Gareth Southgate’s side are “spoilt children”.
Mild has history with English football, briefly representing Wimbledon in 2001/02 as well as scoring three times against England on international duty.
The 47-year-old, who was also on the receiving end of a poor challenge by Paul Scholes at Wembley in 1999 and had to be stretchered from the field, was dismissive of the side awaiting his country in Samara.
While most onlookers have been struck by the humility and togetherness of the young squad put together by Southgate for the World Cup in Russia, Mild took a different view in his role as a pundit on Svergies Radio.
“It couldn’t be a better draw, they think they are so good, they are not,” he is quoted as saying ahead of Saturday’s last-eight encounter.
“They are spoilt children who earn a lot of money. They don’t have the desperation needed.”
Barring golden boot front-runner Harry Kane, England are less reliant on star power and more on team cohesion than in previous tournaments, but Mild thinks Sweden have the edge in that regard. “You are not terrified when you see this team. It suits Sweden well,” he said.
“If we get through the first 20 minutes we can go through. They are limited.
“I’m really impressed [with Sweden], how they have come up with this and how the team works together. The players submit to the idea.”
Mild, pictured, who is the sporting director at Gothenburg, won 74 caps and was part of the impressive Sweden team that finished third at the 1994 World Cup in the United States.
He added yesterday that he believes England will still be feeling the effects from Tuesday’s win over Colombia when they face the Swedes.
“England have just played a long, tough game with extra time and I also think they have a little bit of hubris,” Mild said. “They think they are going to win and they will get an unpleasant surprise on Saturday.”