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Home Sports ‘Return of the God’: Zlatan Ibrahimovic back in Sweden squad

‘Return of the God’: Zlatan Ibrahimovic back in Sweden squad

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is back in worldwide soccer after practically 5 years away — and he introduced it to the world in his personal inimitable means on Tuesday.

“The return of the God,” the charismatic striker stated to his tens of hundreds of thousands of followers throughout social media after being picked by Sweden at the age of 39 for the crew’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Ibrahimovic, Sweden’s file scorer with 62 objectives in 112 video games, retired from worldwide responsibility after the 2016 European Championship however has remained prolific in spells at Manchester United, Los Angeles Galaxy, and AC Milan since then.

In November, at a ceremony the place he was voted as Sweden’s males’s participant of the yr for the twelfth time in his profession, Ibrahimovic instructed Sweden coach Janne Andersson he would have an interest in returning to the nationwide crew. After extra talks, Andersson selected to recall the nation’s most high-profile participant.

For the second, Ibrahimovic is back on the worldwide scene solely till the continent-wide Euros scheduled for June and July this yr. It stays to be seen whether or not he stays on till the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, when he can be 41.

“The team I have now, we have built up a way to work and a way to play for 4 1/2 years, so now he is a new person in this,” Andersson stated. “He is one of the gamers who will likely be with us for the first time subsequent week so he’s coming into us.

“And, of course, he has to adapt to how we work, how we play. He has done that before, he has changed clubs before several times … I don’t think that’s a problem, in any way.”

In the solely main championship since Ibrahimovic retired from internationals, Sweden reached the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia — its finest efficiency in the competitors since 1994.

Andersson’s crew is difficult working and a well-drilled unit, the place no single participant is the star. Previously, Sweden’s entire recreation plan centered round Ibrahimovic.

Andersson dismissed considerations that Ibrahimovic’s ego may very well be a distraction in the squad.

“I’m not worried at all about that,” he stated. “We have talked about this of course, me and Zlatan. He is the particular person he’s and he ought to be the particular person he’s, in a technique.

“But he is also an excellent football player with a lot of experience we can use in the team. … We have talked, of course, about how we will work together and how we work in the national team and what he can add to that with his way of playing. I am sure it will be good.”

Andersson laughed off Ibrahimovic’s sometimes brash social-media submit signaling his return to the squad.

“It’s the way Zlatan sometimes makes announcements,” he stated. “That’s Zlatan.”

Sweden’s upcoming video games are World Cup qualifiers in opposition to Georgia on March 25 and Kosovo three days later. There can be a pleasant in opposition to Estonia on March 31.

If Ibrahimovic performs in any of them, he’ll turn into the oldest participant in the historical past of Sweden’s nationwide crew.

He has 16 objectives in 21 appearances for Milan this season, although he has missed the crew’s final 4 matches as a result of of a proper thigh harm.

“Zlatan is still one of the world’s best forwards and is, in my opinion, by far Sweden’s best football player of all time,” Andersson stated. “He has a lot of experience that we in the national team will enjoy.”

Sweden is in the similar group as Spain, Poland and Slovakia at the Euros.

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