Zlatan Ibrahimovic Announces Int’l Retirement After Euro 2016
Belgium plays Sweden on Wednesday in what could be Ibrahimovic’s last international game.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has decided to end his international career in soccer after the European Championship, meaning he could represent Sweden for the last time today.
Ahead of Sweden’s final Group E game against Belgium, the 34-year-old on Tuesday said that it would be his last appearance for his country if the team gets eliminated.
The last game for Sweden in Euro will be my last game with Sweden, so I hope it will not be tomorrow. Let’s hope it goes as long as possible.Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Even if Sweden loses and fails to qualify for the knockout stages, Ibrahimovic said he would not be disappointed with such an end to his 15-year international career.
To finish on a disappointment, never, because I’m very proud to be captain of Sweden and what I achieved. So I want to take this moment and thank all the supporters, because they make it possible for me to achieve what I have achieved. For me disappointment doesn’t exist, I’m very proud and grateful.Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Even though he had been named in a provisional Swedish squad he said that he “will not participate in the Olympics” in Rio de Janeiro.
Ibrahimovic who is Sweden’s record scorer with 62 goals and can become its joint sixth most-capped player with 116 appearances on Wednesday said that:
There’s a lot of pressure on us but we’re still in there, we’ve managed to stay in there and we’ll do everything we can to continue in the tournament.
Sweden coach Erik Hamren highlighted Ibrahimovic’s contribution to the team and to Swedish soccer in general.
Our greatest star going is a big loss. We have one international player that’s really at the same level as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and that’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He has really helped Swedish football as a goal scorer of course but also as an individual.
Hamren added that Ibrahimovic had discussed retirement with him in “January or February” but that Ibrahimovic only confirmed it Tuesday.
Ibrahimovic can expect little sympathy from Belgium, at least not on the field.
Hopefully it will be his last game tomorrow for Sweden. Lots of respect for his career, but I’m very selfish tomorrow.Jan Vertonghen, Belgium Defender
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