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Sweden coach to Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Call me if you want to play at the World Cup


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.


  1. i think the sweden coach is being silly. instead of telling kicker magazine he should call me, the coach should just call him. what faster, easier way to settle the matter, and drama free?

  2. Their group contains Germany, Mexico, and South Korea. Germany is a lock to win the group and then it looks to be a real dog fight for second. Considering that neither Mexico nor South Korea is known for having large defenders, if I were the Swedish coach, I’d want to have Ibra available since he could be a dominating presence in the air and capable of physically dominating in the box. While it is unlikely that he could go 90 every game, he would certainly be helpful in the last 25 minutes or so in games where you really need a goal. It would be pretty shortsighted, IMO, if they didn’t take him.

    • If you can’t score a goal in 65 minutes using the style you practice every day and got you to the World Cup what make you thing you can do it with an unfamiliar strategy and an mls player? If that’s a viable strategy why not start the game with it? You make no sense at all.

    • agree. reminds me of the mexico coach a few years ago deciding whether or not to bring along an aging jared borgetti. i think he did bring him.

      • Remember that American coach who brought a world class goal poacher named Wondo to Brazil (over the leading american goal scorer) just in case we needed a miracle goal?


    • Why would Sweden have to change their strategy if they brought in Ibra? He has shown over the years he can score every way possible and is one of the greatest scorers of his generation. They don’t have anyone nearly as good as he is, even at his age of 36. If you ask me, one of the big mistakes Arena made was not playing Dempsey enough versus T&T. He was our best goal scorer then and had played less than a half vs. Panama and created more chances in 20 minutes than Wood and Altidore together did all game. Not taking Ibra would be just stupid. What wonderful player would they have to take off their roster if they brought him along? If nothing else, defenses have to pay attention to him and that opens up channels for teammates.

      • I’m not saying he should or shouldn’t go. That’s a a coaching decision. What I’m saying is that throwing away the players and style that got you to the world cup to accommodate a semi-retired mls player is not the best idea. Sure Ibra was a great goal scorer but if can’t hang in mls what makes you think he can do it against Mexico Germany or Korea?
        Sweden did fine without him during qualifiers, no need to start over now just because some old has-been feels like inserting himself into the system he walked away from in 2016.

  3. LOL, that was the back up keeper?

    Hopefully the Zlatan call to the coach doesn’t turn into a conference call with the back up keeper.


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