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FOOTBALL

Ibrahimovic confirms national team hiatus

Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has said he lacks motivation to play for the Swedish national team following the side's failure to qualify for this summer's World Cup.

Ibrahimovic confirms national team hiatus

“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.

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.

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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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