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Zlatan: 'I'll keep playing football for Sweden'

Zlatan: 'I'll keep playing football for Sweden'

Published: 18 Jun 2012 09:59 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 Jun 2012 09:59 GMT+02:00

Swedish captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic boosted his side's morale in timely fashion on Sunday by declaring he had no intention of retiring from international football despite their early exit from Euro 2012.

The 30-year-old AC Milan star - who scored in the opening 2-1 loss to co-hosts Ukraine - was adamant when asked about his future that he saw himself continuing after their final Group D game against France on Tuesday.

"Absolutely. My future is with the national side," said Ibrahimovic, who has scored in three successive Euros.

"I will continue to play for them."

Ibrahimovic, who was at fault for Ukraine's winner allowing Andrei Shevchenko to get ahead of him to head into the net, will be looked to lead a younger generation of players as several other veterans are likely to retire.

Central defender Olof Mellberg, 34 and scorer of their second goal in the 3-2 defeat by England in their second match, midfielder Anders Svensson, who turns 36 in July, and 32-year-old forward Christian Wilhelmsson are expected to have played in their last major finals.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:40 June 18, 2012 by FalsePolymath
This is good, because Zlatan still has several quality years left in him. With John Guidetti coming up Sweden's offense should remain potent. The defense, of course, is another matter.
11:35 June 18, 2012 by heu
Zlatan is brilliant when playing against barely professional teams.

It is unfortunate he isn't quitting. He is not able to deliver when necessary and the recent failures are just a result of having a team playing for him.

The Swedish team is much better off without him.
12:18 June 18, 2012 by EtoileBrilliant
Oh dear. I was just saying to my Swedish wife last night that the only thing that stops me getting behind the Swedish team was that one trick donkey called Zlatan.

As soon as he retires, I'll be seen walking down Drottingatan wearing a yellow and blue shirt complete with Viking helmet.
12:59 June 18, 2012 by Jes
Sounds like a threat, doesn´t it ?

. Lets face it , Zlatan is responsible for killing the Swedish national team . As long as he stays , Sweden will keep on wondering what went wrong every after a loss . This chap is too arrogant to fit into Swedish football idiology, where every player is considered important.

It is always about HIM - and the clueless Swedish medai does not help . For some bizarre reason , they dare not call him what he realy is : an overrated egomaniac. Every one seems to have selected the weak target : the choach . Why can`t somebody talk about how Zlatan slowed down and killed the pace when his team-mates took good positions ?
14:54 June 18, 2012 by kirub
No, no, no, don't be too harsh to the man that is leading/ pulling the team. Where is your Swedish sense of politeness to a hero? They all fear his talent when outside. But when it came to goalscoring in this ET2012, Sweden had a few 'unknown' heroes of it's own too. And that is also a clear fact. Strategically and tactically.
15:04 June 18, 2012 by jack sprat
A decent footballer,yes, but unfortunately a scumbag of a character.

My main memory of the match is of his foul-mouthed tirade of abuse intended to provoke Joe Hart into being red carded.

Sad to see a talented player stoop to such a level, but unfortunately part of his normal game.

Shades of the Italian guy who deliberately provoked Zidane in the Wold cup final.

Fortunately Hart was cool enough to rise above it.
16:23 June 18, 2012 by Jes
@ kirub dear ,

why do you think that Zlatan is a "hero" ? What has he won for Sweden since he joined the national team ?

Maybe you don`t recall that he was in the team that failed to qualify for WC in South Africa . Do you remember that he said that he had lost the appetite to play for Sweden ?

Man , we are talking about a chap who has an over-inflated ego . He knows that if he declares that he will not play for Sweden anymore , this will give Milan more reasons to get rid of him.

The media should cut its loss and demand his exit .That is the only way Sweden will grow and promote new stars .
18:12 June 18, 2012 by kirub
Sweden' s stars? They don't seem to want it bad enough, since they could have easily won from England in the last match. They played more like babies suckling the stars, rather. Maybe winning feels too progressive for these players? "You could have won the match against England." Answer Swedish players: "That would have been bad morale for the team, I think."

Luckily Denmark is doing quite well against Germany; last night they showed much promise bubbling there somewhere between now and the final.
18:36 June 18, 2012 by Ballcocks
On behalf of England fans everywhere, please keep Zlatan in your team as long as possible, especially when you are playing England.
21:46 June 18, 2012 by skogsbo
I don't think he is that popular amongst Swedes, most people see through him.
00:54 June 19, 2012 by BillyB
He has to stay in the national team to keep shifting his book
01:27 June 19, 2012 by Russel Dalrimple
The problem is, when Zlatan plays, the younger, less experienced players seem to be either in awe of him or afraid to play their natural games for fear of abuse from 'the Zlatan' and the press

The truely great national sides have a sum greater than their parts... it's their ability to gel as a 'side'. Look at The Netherlands this year... Look at Germany's cohesive unit in comparison.

If Zlatan was humble, I think the majority of outsiders would perhaps accept his failures on the big stage...but the fact that he is not.
11:09 June 19, 2012 by djmarko
Sweden has a good under 21 side, saw them play last year and thought they were a pretty decent side, why these youths were not promoted to the national team is beyound reasoning, they have players that have continued to fail Sweden yet they are still picked, why is this the case? Zlatan actually performed credibly in the 2 matches i watched, he cant do everything on his own
11:23 June 21, 2012 by ellenka
I'm not from Sweden, and probably do not know any of your domestic football problems (besides all this, I'm a woman))). But I can not understand how you can speak so negatively about this great player. I think your team is very lucky that he's there. This man was born to play football - and do it amazingly. And among other things, he gives aesthetic pleasure. Zlatan is bad, but very pretty boy ))

By the way, the last your game at the Euro was excellent - thanks for the great emotions! And Zlatan's goal was absolutely fantastic! Be proud of Ibra!
21:56 June 21, 2012 by FalsePolymath
What? Not all professional athletes are warm and cuddly? I'm shocked. Playing Zlatan means not playing younger players? Let's just send the under 23 team regardless of who the best players are. Zlatan was in the middle of most of the best offense in all three matches. As for what went wrong, I don't think it's tough to figure out at all. Defense, defense, defense. I have a feeling that unless Sweden play like 1970 Brazil and behave like choirboys, people are going to whine just for the sake of it.
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