After settling their differences, Zlatan Ibrahimovic might be set to enthrall Swedish soccer fans once more if Janne Andersson includes him in his squad for this month’s World Cup qualifiers.
After Sweden exited the Euro 2016 group stage, Ibrahimovic, 39, walked away from the national team, and his partnership with Andersson, who took over after that tournament, was restricted to sniping from the sidelines while hinting at a return.
Andersson was adamant at that period that if Zlatan decided to return, he had to contact him, which appeared impossible until the AC Milan striker opened the door in a newspaper interview in late November 2020.
The 58-year-old Sweden coach traveled to Milan right away to speak with Ibrahimovic privately.
Both sides have been tight-lipped since then, but few would be shocked if Ibra was named to Sweden’s squad for the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Kosovo in March on Tuesday, and the country’s fans would be overjoyed.
Ibrahimovic may no longer be the unstoppable physical force he once was, but the Swedish record scorer (62 goals in 116 games) has 14 goals in 14 Serie A appearances so far this season, showing that he is still capable of playing at the highest level.
Incorporating the striker into the squad would be a danger, but it could inspire Sweden’s well-organized squad at this year’s Euros, where they will face Spain, Poland, and Slovakia in Group E.
Despite his undeniable reputation as Sweden’s greatest player of all time, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was born in Malmo to a Bosnian father and a Croatian mother, is not without his detractors.
Ibrahimovic has also been criticized in the media for lacking modesty and not being a team player.
During a 15-year reign, his powerful personality dominated the national team, and, at times, the Swedish FA (SvFF), and former manager Erik Hamren have been chastised for allowing Ibra to control strategy and squad choices.