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Zlatan to sit out friendly against Germany

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Zlatan to sit out friendly against Germany
18:16 CET+01:00
Swedish international striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not play in Wednesday's friendly against Germany, coach Erik Hamrén said Monday.

"As the situation stands it is better that he rests," Hamrén told reporters in the southern Swedish city of Malmö.

The AC Milan forward "got a few knocks in the match against Inter (Milan)" on Sunday, Hamren explained, according to the TT news agency.

The widely anticipated friendly match against Germany in the southwestern city of Gothenburg would therefore have to go ahead without Sweden's biggest star.

"If Wednesday's game had been a qualifying match he would have played," Hamrén said.

The announcement comes the day after Ibrahimovic scored a penalty to sink Inter in his first meeting with his former club wearing the red and black stripes of Milan.

The Swedish striker found himself fending off a number of touch challenges, including a nasty clash with Marco Materazzi which sent the Inter Milan centre-back to hospital to hospital.

Meanwhile Germany coach Joachim Loew has called a total of four uncapped players from Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund and second-placed Mainz into his squad for Wednesday's friendly in Sweden.

Loew has left a host of senior players out, including striker Miroslav Klose, defender Philipp Lahm, who captained Germany to third at the World Cup, attacking midfielder Thomas Mueller and playmaker Mesut Ozil.

"The game in Sweden is a great way to give a few fringe players their chance to show they can play within our team's philosophy," said Loew.

"They have all earned their chances by convincing and consistent performances in the Bundesliga and may in the near future make the leap to the international level.

"It will give those players a chance to train with the team and our plan is that some of them will play in Gothenburg and win their first cap."

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