It's Not A World Cup Without Zlatan
It's Not A World Cup Without Zlatan
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It's Not A World Cup Without Zlatan

Zlatan Ibrahimović has hinted at a return the Swedish national team at this year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia. After announcing his retirement from International football in 2016, the Swedish giant is now thinking of returning to the fore. However, would Zlatan’s comeback really be a good thing for Janne Anderson’s Swedes.

‘I’m going to the World Cup’. Those were the words uttered from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was appearing as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel’s late night talk show. Confident as ever, the former Manchester United striker has planted a seed that’s getting everyone talking.

A matter of sponsorship deals

‘A World Cup without Zlatan would not be a World Cup’. Who else would ever make such an open statement to the media? But don’t be fooled, this statement is sure to just be a little PR stunt. It is said that while it may be true, it’s closely linked to some Swedish sponsorship deals.

Furthermore, Ibra has already hinted on Twitter that he could be in Russia in June. He said, ‘the probability that I will play at the World Cup is very high’. In the end though, it was only a huge marketing tactic for an online betting site, of which he is one of the investors. The Swede also hinted at his World Cup selection would only be related to his recent contract with Visa, a partner of FIFA, of which he is one of the ambassadors.

No good for the collectivist Swedes

It has been two years since Zlatan Ibrahimović retired from International football with Sweden, after a poor competition in Euro 2016. A return to the yellow and blue jersey would certainly be feared by the other teams in Group F.

But picking Zlatan for the Swedish team would not necessarily make them a stronger force. At least, that’s the view of goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson. Playing his domestic football at EA Guingamp in France, he thinks that Sweden can ‘play the World Cup without him’. And with good reason. After all the Swedes have already managed to qualify without him.

Despite his remarkable talent and scoring prowess, there’s no getting away from the fact that Ibra plays for himself. Johnsson believes that a more collectivist approach takes precedence in football. ‘AS a team we play very collectively, all together whereas Zlatan is very individualistic, as a player and as a person.

All will become apparent next month when Janne Anderson decides whether or not Zlatan will go to the World Cup. Even though he has claimed he hasn’t even spoken to the player, he could very well review his choices.
By Abbie Marshall
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