Swede will be 36 by the time of the 2018 finals in Russia.
Mercurial Sweden front man Zlatan Ibrahimovic has claimed that next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil are now not worth watching without his presence in the global show-piece event following the Scandinavians’ defeat to Portugal in their World Cup playoff on Tuesday night, according to reports in the Daily Mail.
The ulta-confident Paris Saint-Germain captain was hoping to help his country qualify for Brazil 2014 at the expense of Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal, with the Swedes trailing 1-0 from the first leg of the play-off tie in Lisbon’s Stadium of Light last Friday evening.
However, despite a second-half fightback from the home side that was inspired by Ibrahimovic’s quick-fire brace – the first a bullet header to bring Sweden level at 1-1, the second a fiercely struck free kick to then put the hosts 2-1 in front on the night – in the end it was the Real Madrid playmaker who had the last laugh.
The brilliant Portugal international scored a memorable hat-trick to hand the visitors a deserved 3-2 second-leg victory in Stockholm, and 4-2 on aggregate, as Ronaldo and Co made it safely on to the plane to Rio next June.
But for Ibra, Tuesday night’s painful loss now makes it highly unlikely that the 32-year-old will be seen strutting his stuff again in the World Cup finals, although according to the player himself, that is our loss.
“It was probably the last attempt to reach the World Cup with the national team for me,” said the striker on his app, Zlatan Unplugged.
“One thing is for sure, a World Cup without me is nothing to watch so it is not worthwhile to wait for the World Cup.
“Everybody wants to play at a World Cup but at the same time I’m realistic in saying that Portugal are a better team than Sweden.
“Congratulations to Portugal but both teams deserved to get to the World Cup.
“The disappointment of course is great now that the World Cup in Brazil will remain a dream for the Swedish national team.”