What are the chances of the Swedish legend to attend the World Cup?
Zlatan Ibrahimović is perhaps the best Swedish player in history, as he is Sweden's top scorer. The player has scored 62 goals in 116 games. However, Zlatan decided to resign from the Sweden national team after the 2016 UEFA European Championship. "The last Swedish match in this European Championship will also be my last match with the national team," said Ibrahimović on that occasion. Ibrahimović kept his word, because after losing and being eliminated against Belgium, Zlatan has not played a single match with the national team, until now.
Leer en español: ¿Ibrahimović estará en Rusia 2018?
The situation has changed dramatically both for the Swedish national team and for Zlatan Ibrahimović, due to the classification of the "Blues and Yellows" to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Zlatan has a great debt to his country, since the striker has not scored a single goal and has not made a single attendance in a football world cup despite having participated in the World Cup in South Korea and Japan 2002 and the World Cup in Germany 2006. For this reason, Zlatan sees in Russia 2018 the opportunity to finish with this nefarious record.
Sweden qualified to Russia 2018 after eliminating Italy in one of the matches of European repechage, this being a historical fact in the football world. After the classification of Sweden, without Zlatan, the return of the Swedish legend was a relevant topic of conversation in the Scandinavian country. However, Sweden coach Janne Andersson immediately closed the doors to Zlatan. "It's incredible, it's been a year and a half without he playing for us. You have to talk about the good players who are there", Andersson said after eliminating Italy in November 2017.
Since Zlatan left Sweden, the team's style of play has changed, since it no longer revolves around the superstar. "When Ibrahimović was with us we played a different style of soccer. He is a great player, but we have adapted without him", said Andersson, who relied on strikers such as Marcus Berg, John Guidetti, Ola Toivonen, and Christoffer Nyman to qualify for the World Cup.
On the other hand, Zlatan came out of a long serious injury and was transferred from Manchester United of England to the LA Galaxy of the United States. In this team, Ibrahimović has scored three goals of great bill in three games played, making it clear that he is recovering his usual level of play. "The chances of playing in the World Cup are skyhöga (very high). # FifaWorldCup2018", Ibrahimović said on his Twitter account on April 15, 2018, reviving speculation about his return to the Swedish national team.
In the Scandinavian country are debated on whether Ibrahimović should return or not to the selection, because although it is true that the "Blues and Yellows" qualified for the World Cup Russia 2018 without the help of "Ibracadabra", the last games of preparation have been worrisome for the Swedes. After eliminating Italy, Sweden tied with Estonia, won by the slightest difference to Denmark, and lost against Chile and Romania, making it clear that they need a referent and someone lethal inside the area.
Ibrahimović has been recovering his immense level with his arrival to the soccer of the United States. It was precisely in this country, where Zlatan confirmed in an interview that he will be at the 2018 World Cup Russia, although he left the uncertainty of whether he will do so with the shirt of the Swedish national team or in a different role. "I just said that I'm going to the World Cup, if I say more, people will hang me, so I have to be careful with what I'm saying, but I want to say that the World Cup without me would not be the World Cup", Ibrahimović said in an interview made by the world-renowned American presenter Jimmy Kimmel. The whole world speculates on whether Zlatan will be in Russia as a footballer, as a commentator, as a guest, or in a different role. The truth is that the Swedish legend has confirmed his attendance.
Sweden have two friendly matches left before they start their participation in the World Cup, which will be against Denmark and Peru. Maybe these two games are the last chance for both Ibrahimović and Andersson, since both will be able to determine if the legendary player still has a place in his national team or should make a presence in the FIFA World Cup with a role different from that of footballer. Zlatan believes blindly in himself and wants that his high possibilities of being in the World Cup do not remain only in words.
LatinAmerican Post | Javier Aldana
Translated from “ ¿Ibrahimović estará en Rusia 2018?”