Lindelof: How I am as a leader
Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof has been speaking about his pride at recently being named Sweden captain and how he shows his leadership in the Reds' dressing room.
The 27-year-old took the armband from Andreas Granqvist in August and has enjoyed a positive start to his tenure, with the Scandinavians recording wins over Spain and Greece to top their World Cup qualifying group.
It’s a prestigious position for any player, but particularly a patriotic Swede who follows on from the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Freddie Ljungberg in leading the team out.
“Yeah I’m very, very proud to be captain of my country,” Lindelof said.
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“It’s a huge honour for me and growing up watching the players that you mentioned, for me to get the opportunity to be captain of Sweden now, it’s a great responsibility but something that I’m very happy with.
“I don’t have a problem with that responsibility either. I’m just trying to do my best and hopefully I can be a good captain for my country.”
Now in his fifth year at United and with over 150 appearances for the club to his name, Victor is one of several senior figures in the squad with experience of captaincy.
“Yeah, I would say so,” replied Victor, when asked if these qualities transferred across from country to club, where the group of leaders is only growing, especially after the summer additions of Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane.
“The way I am as a captain, I think I’m quite calm. Obviously I take responsibility and I try to be a leader.
“I’ve gained some experience over my career so far and I just try to help out and be a leader on the pitch and off it as well.
“I’m not the type who stands up and screams in your face or something like that. I try to show it on the pitch in my actions, with my presence and my calmness.
“I think people feel they can talk to me as well and that they can listen to me when I speak as well. I think that’s the way I am as a captain and also as a leader.”
Our no.2 has unfortunately had to have those communication skills tested over this past week, after his compatriot Anthony Elanga was alleged to have been racially abused by an opponent during a recent Sweden Under-21s game with Italy.
Lindelof revealed he has made himself available to help the 19-year-old.
“No, of course I spoke to him and I wanted to see how he was doing and if he was okay.
“I asked if I could do anything for him to help him out. I think it’s very important, not just because he’s from Sweden and my friend.
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“I think it’s very important to do that for everyone and if someone else were to experience that I would ask them the same thing and see if I could do anything.
“It’s very important that you stick together and help each other out.”
Victor was speaking to United Review, ahead of Sunday’s game with Liverpool at Old Trafford.
You can read the full interview with our centre-half, where he talks about assists, playing out from the back, the best rivalries he’s been part of and more, in the official matchday programme, available at the ground or online.