AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic has ruled out a potential return to international football despite posting a cryptic tweet last week. Earlier this month, the Swedish forward took to social media and teased fans with a picture of himself in a Sweden jersey, hinting at a dramatic return to international football at 39. However, Zlatan has now claimed that his tweet was simply aimed at "irritating people" in his country.
While speaking to Sky Sport Italia on Sunday, Zlatan Ibrahimovic admitted there was no distinct possibility of him returning to international duty with Sweden and his post was merely an attempt to get under the skin of people in his native. After netting a stoppage-time equalizer in AC Milan's 2-2 draw against Verona at San Siro on Sunday, Ibrahimovic clarified, "I don't plan on returning to play with Sweden. I was just trying to irritate some people in my country."
AC Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic has admitted his recent cryptic social media post was not an attempt to push for a return to the Sweden national team pic.twitter.com/bYDe1snlH2— Soccer tsunami (@soccertsunamiTV) November 9, 2020
Ibrahimovic, who is currently at the top of the goalscoring charts in Serie A with 8 strikes to his name, sent social media into a frenzy last week. The veteran forward posted an image of himself in a Sweden jersey on Twitter and Instagram, captioning the posts, "Long time, no see."
Zlatan's incredible run of goalscoring form led many to believe that he was considering a return to international football at the age of 39. AC Milan are currently at the summit of the Serie A table, mainly thanks to Zlatan's goals this campaign.
Sweden national team boss Janne Andersson was asked about Zlatan's potential return to international football but the 58-year-old rubbished those rumours. While speaking to the media, Andersson said, "I saw the image and people told me there's a plan behind it so I won't waste my energy on it."
Ibrahimovic announced his retirement from international football back in 2016. The four-time Serie A champion retired as Sweden's all-time top goalscorer and still holds the record, having scored 62 goals in 116 international appearances. Zlatan also featured in four European championships and led the line for Sweden during the 2006 FIFA World Cup, which was held in Germany.
Ibrahimovic last scored for Sweden during the Euro 2016 play-off draw against Denmark. The game ended 2-2 with Zlatan's brace sending his side through to the finals as Sweden won 4-3 on aggregate. Many believed that Zlatan's tweet meant he would potentially return to Sweden for Euro 2021 but the four-time Ligue 1 winner has now put those rumours to bed.