Sweden confirm Ibrahimovic will not play at 2018 World Cup

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has claimed that he was “born old and will die young”, after he was unveiled as a LA Galaxy player on Friday. The 36-year-old could make his debut against Los Angeles FC on Saturday and says he is “hungry” to play. Ibrahimovic wanted to join Galaxy two years ago, before eventually moving to Old Trafford. “Finally I’m here and I’m excited, looking forward to play. “I know it’s been a long break for me where I haven’t been in my rhythm, where I play almost every day because of the injury I had. Now I just want to go out, smell the grass, touch the ball. “When we finished training today I just wanted to continue. I even asked the coach could I go and shoot some balls and he gave me the okay. “I feel young. I said once before, I feel like Benjamin Button. I was born old and I will die young. “Don’t worry about my age. I know I’m 37 [36] but when I came to England they all said I was old, that I came in a wheelchair. After three months I conquered England and they said I was flying. This is only numbers. I know what I’m able to do, what I will do. “I come here to win. I’ve already brought my family. My wife can take care of the family and I can take of what I’m good at – playing football. “We have a big game on Saturday and I’m already involved. I feel excited. The lion is hungry,” he said. Ibrahimovic made seven appearances for Manchester United this season, scoring once.

Sweden’s Football Association has announced that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not come out of international retirement to play at this year’s World Cup in Russia.

Ibrahimovic, who retired from international competition after Euro 2016, represented Sweden in the World Cup in 2002 and in 2006.

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A statement from the Svenska Fotbollforbundet (SvFF), released on Thursday, read: “Zlatan Ibrahimovic has previously said no to playing for the national team – and he hasn’t changed his mind. ‘I talked to Zlatan on Tuesday. He told me he hasn’t changed his mind regarding playing for the national team – it’s still a no,’ says Lars Richt [sporting director].

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“Zlatan Ibrahimovic is therefore, for the same reason as previous national team gatherings, not a candidate for the World Cup squad that coach Janne Andersson will present on May 15.”

The 36-year-old striker, who moved to LA Galaxy from Manchester United last month, has frequently expressed his desire to come out from retirement and play at the tournament.

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