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FOOTBALL

Fredrik Ljungberg leaves national team

Sweden's national team captain Fredrik Ljungberg has announced his retirement from international football.

Fredrik Ljungberg leaves national team

In an emotional letter to fans published on Friday, the 31-year-old former Arsenal midfielder said it was becoming physically too difficult to play for both West Ham and the national team.

Ljungberg played his first match for his country back in 1998. His final game for Sweden was the 2-0 loss to Russia which marked Sweden’s exit from Euro 2008.

“I have decided to concentrate on my football with West Ham. This is where my priority now lies,” Ljungberg said.

He competed in three European championships and two World Cups with the Swedes, before being named captain after the 2006 World Cup.

“The moment has come to let some other player take the number 9 jersey. Sweden has a lot of talented players and I am sure my place will be taken by someone who has the same passion for sport as me,” he added.

“I have played in the Swedish midfield for almost 11 years. I can honestly say that I have loved every match, especially the boundless support that you, the fans, have always given us, the players…”

Ljungberg played 75 games for Sweden scoring 14 goals.

FOOTBALL

Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match

Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, a day ahead of the country's Nations League match with Sweden, the Croatian football federation (HNS) said.

Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match
Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic (left) tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. Photo: Miguel Medina / AFP
“Brozovic's Inter Milan and Swedish epidemiologists were informed about the positive test,” an HNS statement said.
   
The player's positive result came two days after defender Domagoj Vida was informed of a positive Covid-19 test after playing the first half of a friendly with Turkey in Istanbul.
   
Apart from Brozovic, 27, one staff member also tested positive.
   
They were both isolated from other members of the national team.
   
After Sweden, Croatia play another Nations League game against Portugal on Tuesday.
   
Croatia, runners-up at the 2018 World Cup, are third in their Nations League group which also includes France, the team that beat them to the World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and Sweden.
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