Derby County midfielder Jeff Hendrick says he is not fazed at the prospect of facing Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the Republic of Ireland gear up for their Euro 2016 encounter with Sweden, the Daily Star reports.
Hendrick has been in the Ireland squad for the past few years now and played a key role in his nation’s qualification for the European Championships in France this summer.
Hendrick will be hopeful of a starting spot for Ireland’s clash with Sweden and the potential to face Ibrahimovic - a player who netted a whopping 50 goals in 51 games for Paris Saint-German last season.
The Swede can intimidate opponents such is his talent, yet the Derby man says he will not be fazed by him.
“I don’t get starstruck. A lot of the players who play for Germany and Poland for example were guys I have watched in the Champions League or at the top level of football in Spain or England,” he told the Daily Star.
“And while I respect what they are doing club-wise, once I step on to the pitch, I know I’ve got a job to do.”
Hendrick suffered an injury layoff towards the end of the Championship season for the Rams yet he did recover in order to face Hull City in the play-off second-leg, performing exceptionally well.
The 24-year-old is capable of playing both as a holding midfielder and further forward, yet for Ireland his better contributions have come in the final third when given licence to get forward.