The manager of Sweden has questioned why their World Cup qualification has become a story about Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Ibrahimovic has not appeared for Sweden since their group-stage exit at Euro 2016, and played no part in their successful 2018 World Cup qualification campaign.
Sweden beat Italy 1-0 on aggregate to reach Russia next summer, but manager Janne Andersson was bombarded with questions about a potential Ibrahimovic return post-match.
The striker himself was more than happy to fan the flames.
We are Zweden pic.twitter.com/rDXzRImev4
— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) November 13, 2017
“This is incredible! This player has just stopped to play with Sweden one year and a half ago and we are still here talking about him,” Andersson said.
“Gosh, we need to talk about the great players we have in this team I believe.
“What I wanted to say was that this was the demonstration that our collective acted like this during the whole length of the play-offs. We have many heroes tonight. I am a bit moved but obviously very happy with the result.
“When Ibrahimovic was here with us we played a different style of football.
“Considering that he has decided to leave international football, he is a great champion, but we had to adapt and found another style.”