Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Healy's shear class: Freddie

Northern Ireland's David Healy hopes to have the last laugh on Sweden

Freddie Ljungberg last night revealed he hoped Northern Ireland hero David Healy will not leave Sweden looking sheepish after being depicted as a lamb on its way to slaughter in the Swedish press.

Healy took the picture in good heart and Ljungberg - who was superimposed onto a donkey in the Belfast Telegraph yesterday - admitted it was a strange thing for any footballer to see.

"I did see the picture but to be honest I didn't really read the story," said the West Ham ace.

"It was a bit strange as players don't normally see themselves like that, but I'm sure it was all just a bit of fun.

"I certainly hope David Healy didn't take any offence as the Swedish team have nothing but respect for him and Northern Ireland. David is a really good player and has scored a lot of goals in this competition."

But the man behind the picture and the story couldn't resist another little swipe at Northern Ireland.

Simon Bank, a columnist for Sweden's biggest Sports paper, Aftonbladet, poked fun at the infamous bust-up between Northern Ireland duo Keith Gillespie and George McCartney on the plane home from Reykjavik last month.

He said: "It was definitely tongue in cheek. I made the comments and did the picture with a warm heart.

"I have the highest respect for David Healy and Northern Ireland though. He is a very, very good player and Northern Ireland were tremendous against us in Belfast.

"Hopefully he will see the picture as a humorous joke but I'm sure it will spur Northern Ireland on in the dressing room.

"But it will be good they're all fighting Sweden instead of each other!"

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