Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic shed tears during his return to the Swedish national team after a four-year absence to participate in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers, and he recounted how his son wanted not to leave the house to join the coach Jan Anderson’s squad.
Ibrahimovic is crying
The 39-year-old, who retired from the world after the European Championship 2016, was affected by a question about the feelings of his sons Maximilian (14 years) and Vensen (12 years) about the decision to return to the national team and international competitions.
Ibrahimovic answered by saying, “This question is not good,” before he answered, overtaken by tears: “Vincent cried when I left.”
Sweden’s historic top scorer, with 62 goals in 116 games, said in a press interview in late 2020 that he wanted to end his departure from the national team, after which Anderson flew quickly to Milan to agree with the former captain to return.
He added, “Playing for the national team is the biggest thing that a football player can achieve, and inside I thought I could help the national team and do something.”
And the striker expressed his respect for Anderson, despite having disagreed with him in the media in the past.
“I want to succeed”
He continued, “Certainly, the matter is not in my hands, and the desire of the player and the coach must be reconciled, and now I have had the opportunity to play for my country and accept that with pride .. But I will not only be happy to join, but I want to achieve good results for the coach, the players and the country. If I do not achieve the desired results, my presence means nothing Here”.
Sweden faces home to Georgia in its first FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifier on Thursday before visiting Kosovo three days later, and then plays a friendly against Estonia.
The Swedish Football Association recently confirmed that Jan Anderson, the coach of the national team, had met Ibrahimovi in Milan; To discuss the possibility of returning to the team.
“When Zlatan expressed his welcome to play for the national team again, it was natural and important to meet with him to discuss this matter as soon as possible. I am happy to arrange this quick meeting,” Anderson told the Swedish Federation’s website.
The veteran coach added, “The meeting was very fruitful and good, and we agreed to continue the discussion on the next steps.”
After scoring 62 goals in 116 international matches, Ibrahimovi retired from the national team after leaving the European Championship in 2016, and his relationship with Anderson, who took over from coach Eric Hamrin, soured after the tournament.
But after his recent brilliance with AC Milan, fans of the Swedish national team demanded his return, and if the coach and player succeeded in setting aside differences, the fans would enjoy another page in Ibrahimovic’s career with the national team.
Zlatan, who has been absent from his national team since the 2016 European Cup, had raised speculation about his return to international retirement, after he posted on his Twitter account a picture of him in the Swedish national team’s shirt and the captain’s badge, and commented: “It’s been a long time.”
Ibrahimovic has entered into more than one crisis with coach Jan Anderson over the past years, and has recently accused him of marginalizing players of foreign origins; For not being invited to the national team.
He blamed Swedish star Anderson, who took over after Ibra left the team after Euro 2016; Not to recall any player of other ethnic origin on his first list after assuming the position, a situation he later corrected, due to a “political motive”.
Ibrahimovic said, “On his first list, what happened? How many players of a different race were called up? Answer: Nobody asked him about this and he took it into account, and then he actually invited others from different backgrounds, to be politically correct.”
The former striker accused Anderson of destroying what he had built over 20 years, alluding to Sweden’s image as a multicultural team.
Ibra concluded: “If this is what you support, then you must continue to cling firmly to it, and not to change it because of questions.”