Sweden legend Ravelli: Mexico can be as good as Brazil

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The former goalkeeper believes El Tri can be as good as some of the world's top team if manager Juan Carlos Osorio organizes the group well

Sweden legend Thomas Ravelli says his country can't take Mexico lightly in the World Cup group stage, with El Tri able to match the heights of teams like Brazil or Uruguay. 

While the goalkeeper, who earned 143 caps for Sweden between 1981 and 1997 and played at two World Cups, believes in the quality Mexico possesses, he said it's up to manager Juan Carlos Osorio to put it all together.

"The Mexican team always had very good individual players but they never worked really well as a team," Ravelli told Goal. "If they can achieve good team spirit and work for each other then Mexico can be as good as South American football teams such as Brazil or Chile or Uruguay.

"It's up to the coach to get that kind of feeling in the team, for the players to work for each other. It's always like that if you want a good performance in the World Cup."

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While the 58-year-old hopes Sweden will focus on its group stage opponents, all the attention this week has been on Zlatan Ibrahimovic's potential appearance in the squad. The head of the Swedish FA, Lars Richt, said Thursday that the 36-year-old LA Galaxy forward won't be part of the squad that heads to Russia.

"My thoughts about that is If Zlatan comes back with the same shape he had before the injury, then yes," Ravelli said in the interview, conducted before Thursday's statement from Richt. "But I don't think Zlatan wants to play in the World Cup if he is not in a good shape. But it's up to him and up to the Swedish manager to take that kind of decisions. By gaining back the shape he had before, then maybe he can play in the World Cup."

In addition to Mexico and Sweden, World Cup Group F also contains Germany and South Korea.

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