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Ibrahimovic confirms national team hiatus

AFP/The Local · 7 Dec 2009, 16:54

Published: 07 Dec 2009 16:54 GMT+01:00

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"I am not motivated," the 28-year-old striker told a news conference after a training session when asked about his future with the Swedish national team.

"It is a huge honour to play for the squad but we should wait to see what will happen in the future. At the moment I have other things on my mind."

Ibrahimovic, who has scored 22 goals in 62 internationals, was voted Sweden's player of the year for the fourth straight time last month for his exploits with Inter Milan and the national team ahead of his move to Barca.

While he has dazzled for Barca and Inter Milan -- he was named Italian Player of the Year in 2009 -- Ibrahimovic has at times struggled to score for Sweden.

Story continues below…

The Swedes will miss out on playing in South Africa next year after appearing in the last five major football championships: the European championships in 2000, 2004 and 2008 and the World Cups of 2002 and 2006.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:07 December 7, 2009 by Luckystrike
Who cares?
19:58 December 7, 2009 by Blissfullignorance
Actually, the overwhelming majority of Swedes care about whether or not one of the best fotballers is part of their national squad. Too bad he's an arrogant prick.
20:41 December 7, 2009 by Kaethar
On the contrary... I think most Swedes respect his decision and want him to do well in La Liga. There are no important games for Sweden in a long time and we can do just fine without him in these games. There's nothing worse than having an unmotivated player. It's the press that is making this out to be a big thing. Expressen even started collecting names to beg Zlatan to stay on the team but they had to put it down since hardly any people signed. ;)
21:25 December 7, 2009 by calebian22
"I am not motivated."

I guess national pride is not motivation enough.
23:17 December 7, 2009 by Albert_84
Visca Zlatan i Visca el Barça!
23:35 December 7, 2009 by DreEstwd
He plays for the national team? Never noticed....:)
03:26 December 8, 2009 by Davey-jo
send him to a proctologist; that's very motivating!
06:22 December 8, 2009 by Kevtravels
"While he has dazzled for Barca and Inter Milan -- he was named Italian Player of the Year in 2009 -- Ibrahimovic has at times struggled to score for Sweden."

Struggled? More like under-performed times a million. I love Zlatan. Great striker he is but he had a 2year goal drought from 2006 to the 2008 Euro's. He only scored 2 goals in qualifying and 1 was a fluke against Albania and the other was against Malta-a team of fisherman.

He may not feel the need to play for Sweden, but when he does he needs to put his A GAME into it.
11:09 December 8, 2009 by EtoileBrilliant
Zlatan is a top 10 footballer at best. I don't dislike him, I just dislike Swedes in general who for years have claimed he's the best footballer in the world.

Zlaten's Fifa's player of the year.

2009 - not ranked in top 5

2008 - 16th

2007 - not ranked in top 20

2006 - 9th

2005 - 14th

2004 - not ranked in top 20

When are Swedes going to wake up an realize that to have have any chance of competing at the top level in football they can't put all their hopes in ONE good but not truly excellent player.

Personally, I feel he's doing the right thing. Much like Andy Murry whose dropped out of the British Davis Cup team while they wallow in the 3rd division.
20:56 December 9, 2009 by Dinaricman
His ethnic heritage is eating away at him. Don't be surprised if you see him in Croatia's Uniform. Slaven Bilic tried to get him before.
21:47 December 14, 2009 by Kaethar
@Dinaricman: Lol. Keep dreaming. His "ethnic heritage" is irrelevant here.
13:19 December 15, 2009 by eddie123
why can't we respect people's decisions? we might disagree with them but respect them all the same. the guy is taking a hiatus from the national team and for good reason; why can't we respect the fact that he isn't motivated no more? more over, the swedish national team sucks of late.it's about time the FA undertakes a roots and branches overhaul of swedish football philosophy - let naturalized immigrants and younger players come into the team.
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