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'If they want, I'm there' - Zlatan leaving the door open for World Cup return

The Swedish star announced his retirement from international football after Euro 2016.

Zlatan Ibrahimov was unveiled by LA Galaxy yesterday.
Zlatan Ibrahimov was unveiled by LA Galaxy yesterday.
Image: Hahn Lionel/ABACA

ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC REFUSED to rule out his chances of playing for Sweden in the World Cup on Friday as he launched his Major League Soccer career with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

The veteran striker is at the centre of a national guessing-game in Sweden over whether he may or may not be brought out of international retirement for this year’s finals in Russia.

On Friday as he was unveiled by the Galaxy in California, Ibrahimovic was coy about playing in Russia.

“Let me first enjoy it here,” Ibrahimovic said. “What happens here will take it further. But my focus is on Galaxy, prepare good for Galaxy, be available, help the coach, help the club, whatever they need.

“The World Cup is another question. I’ve said it before. Nobody needs to call anybody. If they want, I’m there.”

Sweden coach Janne Andersson has so far pointedly resisted the urge to make the first move, saying earlier in March that Zlatan could call him if he wanted to be considered for selection.

“Zlatan is very welcome to call me,” Andersson said, hinting he would not take the initiative.

Ibrahimovic, however, declined to clarify his hopes when asked on Friday if he wanted to play in the World Cup.

“Let’s keep them on their toes,” the striker said. “Let’s see. Because they’re all talking about whether I should go or if I should not go. Because they have it good, they have it bad. But so far they didn’t win nothing. And I know how to win.”

© – AFP, 2018

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