During his recent sit down with late night presenter Jimmy Kimmel, football great Zlatan Ibrahimovic told viewers, “I’m going to the World Cup, yes. I just say I’m going to the World Cup, if I say more, people will hang me. A World Cup without me wouldn’t be a World Cup.”
Now according to BBC Sports, Ibrahimovic will not be playing at this year’s World Cup as announced by the Swedish FA. “I talked to Zlatan on Tuesday. He announced he did not change his mind about the national team — it is no,” says Swedish FA chief Lars Richt.
Ibrahimovic retired from international competition following the 2016 EURO Cup, but there has since been speculation, much of it fuelled by Ibrahimovic himself, that he would come out of retirement to play for the Sweden squad in Russia this summer. The 36-year-old has participated in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups scoring 62 goals in 116 games for his country. Ibrahimovic recently left Manchester United to join LA Galaxy and has made a great start to his career in the States.
In a statement published on the Swedish men’s football team’s official Instagram page, the national selectors said: “A final message: Zlatan will not play at the World Cup.” Sweden open their World Cup Group F campaign against South Korea on June 18 before going on to meet Germany and Mexico.
The chance of me playing in the World Cup is skyhöga #FifaWorldCup2018
— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) April 15, 2018