Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has unfinished enterprise on the World Cup.
The 39-year-old has come out of worldwide retirement and is ready to play his first match for Sweden since 2016 in a World Cup qualifier towards Georgia in Stockholm on Thursday.
Ibrahimovic’s preliminary purpose is to play for Sweden on the European Championship beginning in June however looming additional within the distance is the World Cup in Qatar that takes place in late 2022 – when he might be 41.
Ibrahimovic has performed in two World Cups – in 2002 and 2006 – and by no means scored a objective. He desires to fill that hole on his bulging resume.
“That’s one thing I’ll beat as a result of I can not have a zero,” Ibrahimovic mentioned Monday, smiling.
“Trying too far forward is harmful. I have to assume extra about what occurs the subsequent day.
“However If I really feel the way in which I do at this time, I might be there.”
The AC Milan striker interspersed moments of typical brashness with moments of humility as he spoke for almost an hour at a press convention in Stockholm.
He even appeared to weep as he recalled saying farewell to his household and two sons earlier than travelling to Sweden for the upcoming video games towards Georgia, Kosovo and Estonia.
Ibrahimovic, Sweden’s document scorer with 62 targets from 112 appearances, mentioned he had missed taking part in for the nationwide crew and was as enthusiastic as he has ever been.
“The top is usually quicker than the legs can deal with,” he mentioned.
“However proper now, it is nearly feeling good, performing and each time I am going out on the sector I am like slightly youngster kicking the ball for the primary time.
“If the pinnacle will get to resolve, I by no means cease. I am not the identical participant as earlier than, however I proceed to carry out.”
Ibrahimovic mentioned a critical knee damage he sustained whereas taking part in for Manchester United in 2017, which stored him out for seven months, modified his mindset about his profession.
He solely performed seven extra video games for United, ultimately transferring to Los Angeles Galaxy the place he spent two seasons.
He returned to top-level European soccer at AC Milan in late 2019 and feels his shows in Italy show he’s nonetheless able to performing nicely at worldwide degree.
“He’s younger, very younger,” Ibrahimovic mentioned, talking about himself. “And every day that passes, the youthful he will get.”
Ibrahimovic mentioned he has obtained some playful taunts about his age from teammates since linking up with the Sweden squad however it’s clear he’s nonetheless held in nice esteem by the nation’s gamers.
Emil Forsberg and Alexander Isak supplied to provide him their shirt numbers and Ibrahimovic mentioned he has taken up Isak’s provide.
“He mentioned he’ll get it again in six or seven years once I stop,” Ibrahimovic mentioned.