Zlatan to retire from international football

Thursday, June 23, 2016

On Tuesday, Sweden's football captain Zlatan Ibrahimović announced he will not play international football again after UEFA Euro 2016. He said he will not participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil in August.

File photo of Zlatan Ibrahimović
Image: Евгений Сойкин.

Speaking to the media before yesterday's final Group E match against Belgium, 34-year-old forward Ibrahimović said, "The last game at the Euros will be my last game for Sweden, so I hope it won't be tomorrow" ((sv))Swedish language: ‍Sista matchen för Sverige i EM blir min sista match för Sverige. Jag hoppas inte att det blir i morgon. He added "I won't participate in the Olympics, because my last game will be the last game Sweden does in this EURO. So let's hope it goes as long as possible. To finish in a disappointment: never!"

Since his international debut in 2001, Ibrahimović has made 116 appearances for Sweden and scored 62 goals, a national record. In this year's EURO competition, Sweden have lost to Italy, drawn against the Republic of Ireland, and lost their final game against Belgium, scoring only once through an Irish own goal.

According to the Swedish Football Association, Kim Källström and Andreas Isaksson will also end their international careers after the Euro campaign. Losing 0–1 to Belgium in yesterday's match, Sweden was eliminated from the tournament.

In 2014, Ibrahimović was placed second on a list of Swedish sport stars, behind tennis player and five-time Wimbledon winner Björn Borg. Ibrahimović said in reaction, "[...] to finish second is like finishing last."

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