Wales striker Kieffer Moore says he has been studying Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the hope of knocking England out of the World Cup.
The 6ft 5in forward has the same physical build as Swedish great Ibrahimovic and would love to end England’s World Cup interest in Qatar.
Moore was born in Torquay and won one cap for England C – the country’s non-league team – but qualified for Wales through his Llanrug-born grandfather and has become a firm favourite with Dragons’ fans since making his debut in 2019.
“I can’t wait to knock them out, it would be amazing,” said Moore, looking ahead to Wales’ final group game against England on November 29.
“There will be no mixed loyalties. I can’t remember much (about being capped by England C). It was Estonia maybe and I think I came on towards the end of the game.”
The Bournemouth striker, now 30, has taken his time to reach the top after starting out at Truro and Dorchester, and trawling the lower leagues at Yeovil, Forest Green and Torquay with a spell in Norway thrown in for good measure.
But Moore has mirrored his impressive international form with a successful start to Premier League life on the south coast.
Moore’s fifth goal of the season came in the Cherries’ 3-0 victory over Everton and past England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, with the striker admitting “it is nice to get one up already”.
Classed as a throwback by some observers because of his aggressive style of play, Moore said: “In general people don’t like it.
“Along with the physical side not many people you come up against like that side of the game. It is a bit of rarity now and something you can pull on.
“You can dominate the person you are up against in a physical and aggressive way. I like to lean against stuff where I think I can have an advantage.
“One player that springs to mind (like that) is Zlatan. You can see his physical prowess, the way he holds himself, his character and the way he plays football.
“I have watched countless videos of virtually every striker worth watching. I like to analyse a lot of other people to see if that can help me and I feel I have learned a whole lot of stuff from those videos.”
Moore believes his size has made him an easy target for referees at international level and he has often picked up yellow cards to his cost.
Against Italy at Euro 2020 when another booking would have ruled him out of a potential last-16 tie, Wales manager Robert Page told him to “jump with no arms”.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) November 5, 2022
Moore said: “I have made a real conscious effort of working around it for the last year or so.
“As dumb as it sounds, it’s not so much jumping without your arms but trying to lever yourself in that kind of way and doing different stuff to still have the same impact.”
Wales possess a real aerial threat in Qatar, starting with Monday’s Group B opener against the United States and on to matches with Iran and England, through Moore and Gareth Bale.
Skipper Bale scored a superb header in Los Angeles FC’s MLS Cup final triumph earlier this month and Moore said: “I think Gaz has been looking at some of my highlights for that one.
“I have told him that and he said he felt like me! It was incredible, some header.”