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Match 60
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Forsberg, Sweden thriving in a new era


Lindelof can shine for Man United as he does for Sweden

Manchester United

Sweden shirts sell out after quarterfinal run

The Toe Poke

Ibrahimovic on Sweden World Cup return: 'The door isn't closed for anything'

Former LA Galaxy forward Herculez Gomez reacts to ESPN's report the club are nearing a deal to bring in Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2018.
David Beckham talks Zlatan Ibrahimovic's potential move to MLS, saying it would be terrific for the league but he'd also be happy for him to stay at Manchester United.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic hasn't ruled out ending his international retirement to play for Sweden at the World Cup, but insists he must get back to full fitness before it becomes an option.

Ibrahimovic told Swedish media during a visit to Stockholm on Thursday that "I miss the national team" and that "the door isn't closed for anything."

The Manchester United striker was in Stockholm to help open a new padel centre that he helped finance, and brought teammate Paul Pogba with him to the inauguration.

Ibrahimovic is sidelined again after making his return from a long-term knee injury in November, having started just two games for United this season. He retired from international football after Euro 2016, but gave his clearest indication yet that he would be interested in playing in Russia.

Ibra Sweden
Zlatan Ibrahimovic retiredĀ from international duty after Euro 2016.

"I miss the national team. When you've played for 20 years and you get to see the others playing in the national team, it's hard. But it's hard in general when you're injured because you want to play -- both for your club and your national team," Ibrahimovic said.

"It's been my life for 20 years and suddenly I'm in a position where I'm not playing every three days. But I just have to accept the situation and fight. I can't do anything else, but train and fight and set my targets."

Sweden coach Janne Andersson, who took the job after Euro 2016 and surprisingly led Sweden to the World Cup by knocking out Italy in a two-legged playoff, has been evasive in the past when asked if he would welcome Ibrahimovic back into the fold.

Asked what he'd tell Andersson if he called to invite him back, Ibrahimovic said: "We'll see, it's a tough question. I want to feel that I can perform and give something back. I don't want to come [to Russia] just because of who I am.

"The door isn't closed for anything. But first I have to play, we can't start focusing on the national team when I'm not playing. But I feel alive when all the talk is buzzing, so that's good."

Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.


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