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Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Sweden manager discussed the possibility of Zlatan Ibrahimovic returning

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Manchester United's Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic sparked rumours about a potential return to international football on Tuesday night.

Sweden beat Italy in the World Cup play-off to secure their spot at next summer's esteemed tournament in Russia.

With over 360 caps between them, Daniele De Rossi, Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Barzagli all confirmed their retirement from international football at the full-time whistle.

De Rossi described “a funeral atmosphere” after the final whistle.

“It’s a dark moment for our football,” he said. “Beyond everything that was wrong tactically, technically and physically, we just did not deserve to qualify.”

Ibrahimovic, who is yet to return from a serious knee injury, sparked controversy by tweeting "We are Zweden" in the aftermath of the victory.

The 36-year-old striker hasn't featured for the national team since retiring upon Sweden's group stage elimination at EURO 2016.

Swedish manager Janne Andersson hoped to answer questions about their heroic performance in the San Siro but - arriving for his post-match press conference - was immediately asked to comment on the speculation surrounding Ibrahimovic.

FBL-EURO-2016-MATCH36-SWE-BEL

"This is incredible! This player [Ibrahimovic] has just stopped to play with Sweden one year and a half ago and we are still here talking about him," Andersson told reporters post-match.

"Gosh, we need to talk about the great players we have in this team I believe.

"When Ibrahimovic was here with us we played a different style of football," he continued.

FBL-WC-2018-ITA-SWE

"Considering that he has decided to leave international football, he is a great champion, but we had to adapt and found another style."

Andersson refused to rule out an Ibrahimovic return but his post-match comments suggest Sweden have remodelled without their all-time record goalscorer.

Marcus Berg and Emil Forsberg have made the attacking spots their own and you could understand Andersson's reluctance to throw a spanner in the works.

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Topics:
Manchester United
Premier League
Football
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain
World Cup

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