Zlatan Ibrahimovic recently raised the stakes when he said, “I am going to the World Cup, yes!” despite having previously declared his retirement from international soccer.
Although the LA Galaxy forward’s comments on Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night show may not be a clear indication of his involvement in this summer’s World Cup in Russia, Ibrahimovic certainly has an interest in representing his native Sweden once again.
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Now, all the veteran goalscorer has to do is pick up the phone and call Sweden coach Janne Andersson, according to the manager.
“He can do it,” Andersson told kicker. “But If he changes his opinion, contacts me and tells me ‘yes, I want to be part of it,’ then we’ll sit down and discuss what that would mean, how we play these days and so on. But that’s all speculation.
“I don’t know [if he’d still fit into the team]. But I also don’t think about it. I take the things as they come if they come. If you want to be part of it, you must call me. Easy as that.”
The 36-year-old retired from the international game following Sweden’s involvement in EURO 2016, and Andersson says that he had no intention of calling up Ibrahimovic prior to the media-driven questions surrounding the striker.
Ibrahimovic ranks first all-time for his homeland in goals scored (62) since debuting for Sweden back in 2001.
“Not him, or anyone else who retired. But there’s this media noise,” he said. “I have no problem with those questions [about a possible return]. Not with what he says or what is written in media.”
Several of Sweden’s current players, including goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson recently stated that bringing Ibrahimovic back into the fold may disrupt the rhythm created within the squad — who handled Italy in their World Cup qualifying playoff to reach the final tournament in June.