Zlatan Ibrahimovic says it will be up to him whether he makes a comeback for Sweden at the World Cup in Russia.
The 36-year-old’s expected move to Major League Soccer franchise the Los Angeles Galaxy was confirmed on Friday, having been released early from his contract at Manchester United.
Ibrahimovic had returned to competitive action for United in November after recovering from surgery to repair a ruptured cruciate ligament, but his last match was a first-half run-out on Boxing Day.
We are ready for the world cup 🇸🇪 @thehenriklarsson pic.twitter.com/kBr0eO1PKg— Zlatan IbrahimoviÄ (@Ibra_official) March 4, 2018
The veteran forward, who retired from international football after Euro 2016, said he was “training very hard” and felt “sharp” as he focused on a return to action.
However, while Ibrahimovic admitted the door was “always open” on the possibility of him returning for Sweden this summer, he would first concentrate on a smooth transition into his new environment before making any firm decisions.
“The main focus now is Galaxy, I settle in, get to know my new team-mates, get to know the club, get to know the city. When I feel comfortable there, you take the next step,” Ibrahimovic said in a video interview on the MLS club’s official website.
“I mean they (Sweden) are calling me every day asking me, how do you feel? What do you want? What are you thinking? How is the situation? But one step at a time.
“If I feel good, if I feel I am able and can do what I know I can do, I mean the door will always be open. It has nothing to do on the other side, it is from this side, let’s say me.
“If I want, I am there (the World Cup), if I don’t want, I am not there, but one thing a time.
“I said I am very hungry to play football, I need to play football, and when I start to do that, then we see what happens.”