ZLAT’S YER LOT!
WORLD CUP 2018 Ibra won’t go to Russia
ZLATAN Ibrahimovic will not come out of international retirement for the World Cup next summer.
He quit after Sweden were knocked out of Euro 2016 in the group stage. But after the Swedes shocked Italy on Monday to reach the finals in Russia, speculation was rife that the Manchester United striker was considering a comeback. Starsport understands that Ibrahimovic, 36, has no intention of reversing his decision despite Sweden’s play-off win. Ibrahimovic won 116 caps and finished as Sweden’s alltime record scorer with 62 goals. He has been sidelined since March after damaging knee ligaments but has completed his rehabilitation and stepped up his training with a view to returning to action next month. After Monday’s ® goalless draw sent Italy out 1-0 on aggregate, Swedish boss Janne Andersson was asked about the likelihood of Ibrahimovic returning.
He said: “This player has stopped playing with Sweden one year and a half ago and we are still talking about him.
“We need to talk about the great players we have in this team. When Ibrahimovic was here with us we played a different style of football.
“Considering that he has decided to leave international football, he is a great champion, but we had to adapt and found another style.”
Ibrahimovic’s United teammate Paul Pogba is targeting a first team return this weekend. The midfielder has been out since the second week of September with a hamstring injury but hopes to feature at home to Newcastle on Saturday.
SWEDE DID IT: Seb Larsson celebrates after reaching the finals LOOKING ON: Zlatan and (left) United boss Jose Mourinho at the first leg in Stockholm LEGEND: Ibra with Sweden