March 17 – Sweden have recalled their talismanic Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the national team five years after he announced his retirement.
In 2016, the striker quit Sweden after the country’s disappointing group-stage exit at Euro 2016, but on Wednesday Swedish head coach Janne Andersson called up Zlatan for national team duty again, paving the way for his participation at this summer’s European Championship.
“First and foremost he is a very good footballer, the best we have had in Sweden, so it is of course great that he wants to return,” explained Andersson. “Apart from what he can give on the pitch he also has an incredible experience and can help others in the team with that.”
Andersson flew to Milan to meet Ibrahimovic. In Italy, Zlatan, aged 39, has been enjoying a renaissance in the twilight of his career, scoring 14 goals in 14 Serie A matches for AC Milan this season.
Ibrahimovic responded to Sweden’s announcement of their squad with typical hyperbole on Twitter. He wrote the ‘The return of the God’.
The former PSG and Manchester United player debuted as a 19-year old for Sweden against Faroe Islands. He went on to score 62 goals in 116 internationals in the national team shirt.
At Euro 2020, Sweden will play Spain, Slovakia and Poland in Group E.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1635001487labto1635001487ofdlr1635001487owedi1635001487sni@o1635001487fni1635001487