Could Zlatan Ibrahimovic still make it to the World Cup finals next summer?
Sweden sealed their place at Russia with a goalless draw against Italy in Milan on Tuesday.
After claiming the result they needed, Ibrahimovic was quick to post a congratulations message – of sorts – on Social Media.
We are Zweden pic.twitter.com/rDXzRImev4
— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) November 13, 2017
The 36-year-old – who officially announced his international retirement after Euro 2016 – has not played since April due to a knee injury, and he departed Manchester United in the summer. But his rehabilitation has gone well, and he has subsequently signed a new deal at Old Trafford, and is set to return to action before the end of the year.
Now it is being reported that Ibrahimovic could contemplate a come-back for another crack at a major tournament.
However, one man who did not respond well to the Zlatan talk was current Sweden boss Janne Andersson.
“This is incredible! This player has just stopped to play with Sweden one year and a half ago and we are still here talking about him. Gosh, we need to talk about the great players we have in this team I believe.
“What I wanted to say was that this was the demonstration that our collective acted like this during the whole length of the play-offs. We have many heroes tonight. I am a bit moved but obviously very happy with the result.
“When Ibrahimovic was here with us we played a different style of football. Considering that he has decided to leave international football, he is a great champion, but we had to adapt and found another style.”
Bookmakers have already started to react and he is already down to 9/4 with PaddyPower to make the squad, and 100/1 to be top-scorer at the World Cup finals.
Paddy Power commented: “Well, Zlatan dropped quite the Ibra-hint-ovic that he’ll make Sweden’s World Cup squad. He might think of himself as God-like, but someone should tell him it’s actually the manager’s decision.
“A lot depends on his fitness, and if he returns to front-line action with Manchester United in the New Year. Currently, we’re 9/4 that he makes the Sweden squad.”