Rumours of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s return to the game were previously squelched by Swedish manager Janne Andersson. The centre forward of Los Angeles Galaxy was expected to come out off retirement just for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but we’ve learned that he will not be stepping onto the pitch. It was after Sweden’s romping over Italy that fans began to wonder if this could be the factor that signalled Ibrahimovic’s return. Talk turned into assumptions, then predictions and rumours that had no hard core basis other than wishful thinking. It’s for certain that he’ll be present in attendance at the games, but he won’t be playing, much to the dismay of his fans. This won’t have a huge impact on the business as usual attitude that vendors and all other stakeholders have. Sales to tourists will still be up and the Coral new customer offer for sports betters is still a go.
No recall is slated
Although it seemed like a distinct possibility after Sweden’s win over Italy, Janne Andersson took a firm stance in alerting the public that all the speculation had not changed the circumstances, nor the prospects for Ibrahimovic’s prospects for international play. It was his choice to decline a place with the national team and Andersson felt the need to respect his decision, but there was a caveat included that made it clear that a rejection to joining the national team would preclude his entrance into the international arena. Life is full of choices and Anderson did not feel that he should return at this point. Ibrahimovic has made to attempt to contact Andersson about the possibilities.
Where did the rumours come from?
After Sweden made the cut and was a recognised qualifier, the striker took to social media. They had beat Italy over two legs on the heels of some amazing defensive manoeuvres and in March, he indicate that anything was possible when he posted, “the door isn’t closed for anything.” If he had any notion of a return, according to Andersson, he hasn’t mentioned it to him. Ibrahimovic was even interviewed on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show where he appeared to give a veiled indicator that something new was brewing. While there was no straight-forward confirmation of a return or of his desire to do so, he was a bit sketchy in his responses and told Kimmel “If I say more, people will hang me up ,so I have to be careful what I say now.” Of course any type of dialogue of this nature is bound to spark speculation on those who follow his career.
Do surveys count?
A Swedish research firm conducted a poll in November to find out how the public would respond to Ibrahimovic’s return. The results came in and showed that 63 percent were not in favour of him being placed on the squad. It’s not been confirmed or denied if the information had anything to do with the decision not to extend an invitation for him to join the team for the 2018 World Cup.