41-year-old Ibrahimovic back in Swedish soccer squad: ‘He is unique’
Footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic returns to the selection of the Swedish national team. National coach Janne Andersson has called up the now 41-year-old Ibrahimovic for the upcoming European Championship qualifiers against Belgium and Azerbaijan.
Ibrahimovic was sidelined for a long time with a serious knee injury, but has been back in his club AC Milan’s matchday squad in recent weeks. The Swedish striker has made three appearances so far.
“Zlatan and I have kept in touch during his rehabilitation. Now he feels well enough to contribute on the pitch. His personality and experience add a lot to our selecite, he is unique,” Andersson said of the 121-time international.
Farewell and back again
After the 2016 European Championship, Ibrahimovic announced his retirement from the Swedish national team, but he returned to that five years later. Eccentric as he is, the Swedish top scorer himself described it at the time as “The return of the God.”
Ibrahimovic can look back on an impressive soccer career so far. He became national champion with Ajax, AC Milan, Internazionale, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, among others, and scored 492 goals for his clubs.
He played his last international game on March 29, 2022, losing 2-0 to Poland in the final of the playoffs. Sweden ran out of the World Cup in Qatar as a result.
In addition to Ibrahimovic, AZ attacker Jesper Karlsson and former Willem II player Alexander Isak are among the 26-man squad.