Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s World Cup hopes appear to rest on a phone call.
Speaking to German outlet Kicker, Sweden coach Janne Andersson says the LA Galaxy star must pick up the phone and give him a call if he hopes to play at this summer’s World Cup. Ibrahimovic has repeatedly discussed this summer’s tournament after retiring from the international game following Euro 2016.
“He can do it,” Andersson told Kicker. “If he changes his mind, calls me and says, ‘yes, I want to be part of it,’ then we’ll sit down and discuss what that would mean, how we play these days and so on. But that’s all speculation.
“I don’t know (how he would fit with the team), but I also don’t think about it. I take the things as they come if they come. If you want to be part of it, you must call me. Easy as that.”
Andersson went on to say he doesn’t plan on trying to convince Ibrahimovic of anything, leaving it up to the forward to decide what he wants to do this summer. In addition, the coach says he has “no problem” answering questions on the forward’s future nor with Ibrahimovic’s recent comments regarding the upcoming tournament.
“To put it plainly, if you retire from the national team, like Zlatan did following Euro 2016 — and he was very clear when he talked about it — the case is settled,” Andersson said. “If you’ve lost the drive to be with the national team for 40 to 50 days a year, and rather not do it or spend time with your family, I respect that.
“I don’t believe in convincing anyone. I’d rather work with the 250,000 (other players) who want to be part of it.”
While Andersson seems open to a return, one Sweden player, backup goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson, recently said Ibrahimovic’s inclusion could cause chemistry issues.