Swedish FA: Ibrahimovic will not play in 2018 World Cup

Swedish Football Association chief Lars Richt confirmed Thursday that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not reverse his international retirement to play in the 2018 World Cup this summer.

"I talked to Zlatan on Tuesday," Richt said, as quoted by BBC Sport. "He announced he did not change his mind about the national team - it is no."

The 36-year-old Ibrahimovic retired from Sweden's national team after Euro 2016, and has not featured for Janne Andersson's side since. But with Sweden booking its spot in Russia following a shock elimination of Italy in UEFA qualifying, the iconic striker - Sweden's all-time top scorer - hinted he may return to play in the World Cup.

Andersson stated earlier this week that any decision would require a dialogue between the two, with the Swedish coach making clear that Ibrahimovic would have to pick up the phone and call, first. That phone call has now seemingly yielded a clear answer.

Ibrahimovic joined MLS side LA Galaxy in March and enjoyed a blistering debut, scoring two goals - including a superb long-range shot - to overturn a 3-2 deficit against Los Angeles FC.

That debut booked him an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" where he stated that he will indeed be going to the World Cup. Though, he remained coy when asked if he would do so as a player or as an onlooker.

However, some on the Swedish team seemed underwhelmed about the prospect of his return. Goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson stated that Ibrahimovic wouldn't fit in, and called him "individualistic" in contrast with the "collective" approach the national team now embraces.

"We managed to qualify and go through to the World Cup without him, and I think we can manage to play well at the World Cup without him," Johnsson said. "But as I said, it's up to the coach to decide if he wants him to join, and I'm sure if he does join, he will play well.

"I don't know if the coach wants such a big change, because he'll have to change the whole system of how he wants to play."

Unless Ibrahimovic has another trick up his sleeve, Sweden's team won't have to concern itself over his involvement any longer.

Swedish FA: Ibrahimovic will not play in 2018 World Cup
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