What can you say about Zlatan Ibrahimović that hasn’t already been said? He’s comfortably the best Swedish footballer of all time and one of the best players, and characters, to ever play the beautiful game.
The 36-year-old has a remarkable goalscoring record for both club and country, and it’s the latter where the focus is right now, with many wondering whether Sweden’s all-time leading scorer will be coming out of international retirement to play at the World Cup.
Ibra has scored an impressive 62 goals in 116 games for Sweden since making his debut back in 2001. During that time he hit some memorable strikes, with one being his bicycle kick against England. There’s no denying that Sweden would be a much better outfit with him around, especially offensively, which could help them get further in the competition.
Zlatan, who enjoyed a great spell at Manchester United which was then hampered by a serious knee injury, has recently traded Manchester for Los Angeles, with him now playing a starring role for LA Galaxy. He’s hit the ground running in the MLS with 3 goals and an assist from 5 games, so if he was to come out of international retirement, he would be heading to Russia in great form.
While there have been hints from the player himself that he could make a dramatic return to International football, the hope seems to have been quashed since, with selectors and Sweden manager, Lars Richt, declaring Ibra hadn’t changed his mind about coming out of international retirement. However, this is Zlatan Ibrahimović we’re talking about here and he loves nothing more than grabbing the headlines and having the attention of the world on him.
Even at 36-year-old, Ibrahimović looks to be in great shape, as he always has done throughout his illustrious career. This, however, is likely to be his last chance to play at a World Cup, with the next one not taking place until he is 40 years old. So, in effect, it’s Zlatan’s last chance to shine on the world stage and really leave his mark on the international scene.
As things stand, Sweden are seen as 100/1 shots to win the World Cup with all respectable sports betting brands. Ibrahimović, even though it has been declared by Sweden that he won’t be taking part, is seen as their best hope in the golden boot race too, with their talisman being priced at 150/1 to be named the top scorer at Russia 2018. He certainly has the ability to mix it with the best, and he would undoubtedly like to prove it once more.
Whether you like him or not, Zlatan Ibrahimović not only provides great value on the pitch but off the pitch too. He’s a huge character in the footballing world and would certainly add something a bit extra at the World Cup. If he isn’t taking part, could we possibly see him appear as a pundit? It could be the perfect fit as fans would still get their slice of Zlatan.