Zlatan Ibrahimovic's World Cup return ruled out by Sweden


After some back and forth speculation, Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss the 2018 World Cup with Sweden after all. He told me he hasn't changed his mind regarding playing for the national team - it's still a no.

Speaking last week, Anderson said he had not spoken to Ibrahimovic about a return but insisted the final decision on the squad would be his.

Sweden's sporting director Lars Richt says Ibrahimovic has not changed his mind on worldwide retirement despite his own words.

The 36-year-old had hinted about wanting to play for his nation on a couple occasions since joining the Galaxy in late March. "It is still a no", Lars Richt, head of the Swedish Football Federation, was quoted as saying.

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"I spoke to Zlatan on Tuesday".

"I'm going to the World Cup, yes".

Sweden's manager, Janne Andersson, stressed after securing qualification that the national team needed to move away from being built around Zlatan and evolve into something else. I respect what he said and those who said "yes". "And at the moment I have other things to do than to think about what would be if..."

"The Swedish national team's greatest goalscorer through the ages has not changed (his mind) and will not play the World Cup", read a brief statement posted on Instagram by the SvFF.