Sat | Jul 21, 2018

Ibrahimovic to quit int’l football

Published:Wednesday | June 22, 2016 | 12:00 AM

NICE, France (AP):

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is ending his international career after the European Championship, meaning he could represent Sweden for the last time today.

The 34-year-old striker said yesterday, ahead of Sweden's final Group E game against Belgium, that it would be his last appearance for his country if the team gets eliminated.

"The last game for Sweden in Euro will be my last game with Sweden, so I hope it will not be tomorrow," he said. "Let's hope it goes as long as possible."

Even if Sweden loses and fails to qualify for the knockout stages, Ibrahimovic said he would not be disappointed with such an end to his 15-year international career.

"To finish on a disappointment, never, because I'm very proud to be captain of Sweden and what I achieved. So I want to take this moment and thank all the supporters, because they make it possible for me to achieve what I have achieved," he said. "For me, disappointment doesn't exist, only proudness and grateful and very thankful."

He added that he "will not participate in the Olympics" in Rio de Janeiro. He had been named in a provisional Swedish squad.

Ibrahimovic is Sweden's record scorer with 62 goals and can become their joint sixth most-capped player with 116 appearances today. Sweden, who have one point after their opening 1-1 draw against Ireland, still have a chance of qualifying for the round of 16, even though they have yet to register a single shot on target. Their only goal at Euro 2016 was an own goal. The Swedes almost certainly need a win against Belgium to qualify.

Looking ahead to the match, Ibrahimovic said: "We need to play a bit more as a team, need to be better."