D.a the self-appointed God suddenly felt quite earthly. Zlatan Ibrahimovic spoke of “tingling in the stomach” and “goose bumps” after his comeback for Sweden, while he fought back tears. Anyone who briefly worried that the football superstar would suddenly have something like grip on the ground could immediately take a deep breath. In his own “modesty”, he crowned himself the new King of Sweden without further ado, published a photo on social media with the line “Carl XVII Guztaf” – the Z of course stands for Zlatan.
“There is an old king and a new king,” said Ibrahimovic of the photo, which alluded to the actual King Carl XVI Gustaf. The Swedish media took part in the Zlatan show and asked the 39-year-old if he was actually aiming to rise to the throne at some point. There could only be one answer: “I climbed it 20 years ago.”
For the first time the national anthem
The mood was relaxed. Sweden had defeated Georgia with a goal from Viktor Claesson – with royal approval, because the template came from Ibrahimovic. And at the same time Spain, classified as the toughest group opponent, had to be content with a 1-1 draw against Greece. A round evening. Only the boss complained about something. “We moved far too little. We are definitely not happy, ”said national coach Janne Andersson.
But tactical processes or routes were not the main topic of the evening. That was Zlatan. The exceptional striker had announced his comeback at the “Tre Kronor” after five years as “The Return of God”. And lo and behold: God sang. Before his 117th international match, Ibrahimovic sang the national anthem for the first time. “I promised Janne,” said Ibrahimovic. He said he had to learn the hymn first, but it was fun. Coach Andersson wants his players to sing along with the anthem.
Ibrahimovic had fun on the pitch, especially in interaction with goal scorer Claesson. The international star’s preparatory work alone would have been worth the entrance fee – however, no spectators were allowed in the Friends Arena in the Stockholm municipality of Solna, because neither God nor King could do anything. Without looking, Ibrahimovic Claesson served with blind understanding in the 35th minute. The attacker from FK Krasnodar only had to shoot the ball past the goalkeeper.
“We spoke ten seconds in front of the gate. I told him that I would be near him when he got the ball, “reported Claesson, and was a bit flabbergasted whether the answer was:” He just said: “I see you, I know where you are. Don’t worry: “Ten seconds later I’ll get the ball. It’s easy to play with.”
And it should be even easier. Above all, the interaction of Ibrahimovic with Sweden’s great storm hope Alexander Isak, who is an impressive 18 years younger. Not everything went well for the duo against Georgia. “We only worked together for two or three days. Everything happened so quickly, “said Ibrahimovic, and Andersson emphasized:” This duo can do a lot of good things in the future. “
For a long time, however, nothing had indicated that Ibrahimovic would appear again for Sweden. After the preliminary round at the 2016 European Championship, the man from Malmö ended his international career after 116 appearances and 62 goals with a loud roar and biting criticism of coach Andersson – last autumn he also harshly approached Sweden’s selection coach for his personnel decisions and spoke of “incompetent People in wrong positions ”. A change of heart followed with Ibrahimovic and a discussion with Andersson.
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