Ibrahimovic returned to the Sweden squad at the age of 41

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set to return to international action with Sweden after being selected for the Euro 2024 qualifying matches against Belgium and Azerbaijan.

The Milan striker spent most of the season on the sidelines after undergoing knee surgery at the end of the 2021-22 season, after winning the Serie A title.

Despite having played just over an hour in three games since his return this year, the 41-year-old was included in Jan Andersson’s latest squad.

Speaking of his decision to bring in the veteran despite questions about his fitness, the coach praised the striker’s influence off the field while stressing that he would have a role in it.

“Zlatan and I were in contact throughout the period until his injury,” he said.

“Now he feels good enough to be able to join the team.

“His personality and leadership qualities are good off the pitch, but the idea is for him to come in and contribute to it. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have chosen him.”

Ibrahimovic’s last appearance with the Sweden national team came almost a year ago, when Poland was knocked out by Poland in the 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers.

After that, he was a substitute, and Anderson admits he will likely play a role from the bench again when he is called up for their next matches.

“I don’t see him as a key player,” he added. “It will be like at Milan, where there are opportunities for him to jump.”

Anderson also confirmed that choosing Ibrahimovic will not be the last time he will be called up despite his advanced age, and says that the ball is in the player’s court because of his international future.

He added, “If you are at the level where you can play for Milan, you are suitable.”

“It’s also about his own position as to whether he wants to continue or not. Zlatan is very keen and wants to contribute.”

With 121 caps under his belt, Ibrahimovic is the sixth most capped player in Swedish history, although he still has some way to go if he is to match the record 148 caps held by former midfielder Anders Svensson.

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