Soccer-Malmo's Rosenberg "as good as Zlatan", says coach Hareide

By Philip O'Connor MALMO, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Markus Rosenberg's brace in the 2-0 victory over Olympiacos in Wednesday's Champions League Group A match has prompted Malmo coach Age Hareide to liken the striker to the city's most famous footballing son Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Ibrahimovic, currently recovering from a heel injury at Paris St Germain striker, made his name at the southern Swedish club before embarking on a glittering professional career. Hareide says that the less-heralded Rosenberg, who has played for clubs in Spain, Germany and England before returning to Malmo, is nearly as good. "Now with Zlatan injured, he's the best," Hareide told reporters at the Swedebank Stadion as he celebrated the Champions League victory. The compliment naturally pleased the 32-year-old striker. "There's been a lot of goals lately," a beaming Rosenberg told reporters. "Attackers should score goals, and important goals. It's always nice to be mentioned up there (with Ibrahimovic)." Roared on by a fanatical home crowd, Malmo, who lost the 1979 European Cup final to Brian Clough's Nottingham Forrest, have yet to concede a goal at home in the competition, having held Ventspils, Sparta Prague and Red Bull Salzburg goalless in qualifying before snuffing out Olympiacos on Wednesday. Their solid defending was rewarded when Rosenberg nabbed two classic poacher's finishes in the 42nd and 82nd minutes to secure a victory in the first Champions League group game on Swedish soil for 14 years. The in-form 32-year-old has now netted six times in the Champions League qualifying and group stage, but despite Ibrahimovic suffering from a heel injury that may keep him out of the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against Russia and Liechtenstein, Rosenberg ruled out a comeback for Sweden. He was approached by Sweden coach Erik Hamren before their opening qualifier away to Austria which finished in a 1-1 draw, but he turned down the offer of a place in the squad. "They're coping well enough (without me)," Rosenberg told reporters. "It's a decision I have taken and I'm sticking by it." (Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)