Dare Not to Zlatan: 4 Reasons Why Ibrahimovic Should Remain in International Retirement

So, Italy's devastating loss is Sweden's gain, and Janne Andersson's men are heading off to next summer's World Cup in Russia thanks to a 1-0 aggregate win over the Azzurri.


To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has already gone about hinting at his potential return to the national side via Twitter, despite being retired since June 2016 after failing to qualify for the European Championship finals that year, and people are pretty split about it.


Here are four reasons why the enigmatic striker should probably leave his team to it...

1. Decency

There no doubt about it, Ibrahimovic is still one of the most watchable footballers in the world.


He has style, charisma and arrogance in abundance and the footballing ability to match, but for him to make himself available for selection again having played ZERO part in the qualification campaign would be wrong. It would be peak Zlatan, but wrong.


He famously declared that the last Euros weren't going to be the same without him, but once the tournament commenced, fans soon forgot about all about him as other stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba took centre stage in France.

2. He Risks Upsetting Team Harmony

Zlatan has unrivalled stature, and he has often been the main man in numerous dressing rooms down the years.


That was the case for a long time at international level but nowadays, Sweden are a cohesive unit - a group of players who are now viewed as a collective and not a one-man team.


If Zlatan came out of international retirement, it would instantly and naturally become all about him. The man's ego and return to the World Cup quest could cause some Neymar-like unrest and prompt a meltdown.

3. Quietly Impressive Sweden Are Past Him

Sweden have just put out four-time winners of the World Cup Italy, before even reaching the finals.


Of course, the Azzurri are in somewhat of a decline, but it is still a huge achievement when you remember they had players like Gigi Buffon, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini in their side.


They came second in their qualifiying group behind fearsome France, sneaking ahead of Holland so clearly there is some quality in the side. They finished as top goalscorers in that group with 26 from 10 games, suggesting there is no desperation for a goal-getter like Ibrahimovic.


World Cup tournaments are isolated events. They are not 38-game seasons in which form and momentum play huge parts. This optimistic Sweden team will be hoping to be swept by 'the magic of the cup'. There's no reason they can't do well without their former talisman.

4. He Risks Tarnishing His Reputation

The desire to play in one final world cup is probably boiling away inside of him, and that might have distracted him from the fact that he could make a fool of himself if he comes out of international retirement.


The serial winner is now 36 years old, and will be almost 37 by the time the tournament rolls around. He suffered an ACL injury back in April for United which is bound to catch up with him in 2018 at some point.


He may be 'like a fine wine' but serious knee injuries have to pretty debilitating for players at his age, despite his dedication and professionalism.


Also would he really want to be remembered as the man who totally bombed at a major tournament after arrogantly coming out of retirement - that is, if he were even to get selected, which he runs the potentially embarrassing risk of not being.

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