• Wednesday, Dec 01, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:04 am

Ibrahimovic back in Sweden squad

  • Published at 02:55 pm March 17th, 2021
Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will return to Sweden's squad after an almost five-year hiatus to play in World Cup qualifiers at the end of March, head coach Janne Andersson said on Tuesday

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will return to Sweden's squad after an almost five-year hiatus to play in World Cup qualifiers at the end of March, head coach Janne Andersson said on Tuesday.

The player, known for his not-so-humble ways, also announced his own return, posting a picture of himself on Instagram in the Swedish team kit with the caption "The return of the God".

The highly-anticipated announcement comes just three months before the European Championship in June-July. 

The 39-year-old AC Milan striker retired from the Swedish squad after the 2016 European Championship, with 116 caps and 62 international goals.

Media had speculated about Ibrahimovic's possible return to the national team, but the Swedish Football Association had refused to comment until Tuesday, when he was announced among the players selected for the qualifiers against Georgia on March 25 and Kosovo on March 28, as well as a friendly against Estonia on March 31.

Ibrahimovic has been nursing a muscle injury lately but hopes to return to the pitch on Thursday when Milan face his former club, Manchester United, in the Europa League round of 16.

'Not done yet'

The Swede has made headlines over the years with cheeky hints that he could be returning to the Swedish team. 

But things took a more serious turn last autumn when, after being awarded Sweden's Footballer of the Year award for an astonishing 12th time in late November, he said that he missed playing for the team.

"The one who does not miss it, he has already finished his career. And I have not finished my career," he told Swedish daily Aftonbladet. 

Ibrahimovic and coach Janne Andersson then met for talks.

Andersson told reporters Tuesday: "I think we'll be a better team with Zlatan, that's why he was selected."

And in a statement he developed that thought, saying the towering 1.95m (6foot 4in) forward had been selected "first and foremost because he's a very good football player, the best we've ever had in Sweden."

"So it's of course great that he wants to come back. In addition to what he can contribute on the pitch, he has loads of experience and can also share that with other players on the team," he added. 

Without "Ibra", Sweden reached the 2018 World Cup quarter-finals and qualified directly for Euro 2020, which has been postponed to June-July 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the first round Sweden will face Spain, Poland and Slovakia in Group E. Andersson said he would announce the squad for the Euro in May.

76
Facebook 75
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail