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Zlatan: It's no secret I miss playing for Sweden

The Milan striker reveals in an interview that he misses playing in the national side since retiring in 2016

11:30pm on Wednesday 25th November 2020
By
Emmet Gates

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has teased a return to the Swedish national team ahead of next summer’s European Championships.

“Yes, I miss the national team. It's no secret,” Ibrahimovic said in an Interview with Aftonbladet.

The 39-year-old is in the form of his life at AC Milan as the leading scorer in the Serie A this season with 10 goals already, two more than Cristiano Ronaldo.

And while Ibrahimovic remains in great physical condition, this feat has been made possible by adapting his game as he’s gotten older.

Sweden’s greatest ever player may lack the energy of yesteryear, but he is as vital to his team as ever in this more efficient approach to the game.

“I feel good. I always say that I get better and more complete with each passing day.

“Ten years ago I was one player, five years ago I was a different player.

“People say that I do not run much today - but I choose my runs now so that I can help the team in the best possible way.

“If I could run 90 minutes non-stop, I would do it - but I cannot. I'm honest with myself.

“When I make a run, it takes a little longer to recover, so absolutely I have adapted to what my body can do.”

However, one attribute that Ibrahimovic will never look to change is his desire to win and how that makes him demand an awful lot from his teammates.

It is fair to say that a flaw in Ibra’s character is his inability to man-manage other personalities in the dressing room. Not everyone reacts in the same way to tough criticism.

It has been said that he insulted several of his teammates in the national team, that he scolded Oscar Lewicki and Rasmus Elm in a way that could have been reported to the police.

As you could expect, Ibrahimovic dismisses the suggestion of any wrongdoing.

“It becomes a little kindergarten level when they speak at home, when they think they know.

“It's too small for me. I'm out in the world, but those at home speak out.

39 yrs - S (C) - Milan
96 
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
529
Played matches
6
10
1
Shots P90
5.96
Shots On target P90
2.72
Successful passing %
71%
Final third passes P90
22.28

“It is not even worthwhile to put energy and focus on it, because it is a completely different dimension we are talking about. It's not even hard. It does not trigger me, it will be at kindergarten level.

“It's like I'm going to go out and have my dog with me and I'll hit the ball and he's going to get it for me ... It's at that level. I do not know if I should laugh or feel sorry for those people.”

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