Doha: Zlatan Ibrahimovic hinted Thursday his international career will end after Euro 2016 in France, claiming it was "too soon" to commit to Sweden's 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Pic/AFP
The Paris Saint-Germain forward, who has played 111 times for his country, said he could not say if we would play for his country after next summer. "When it comes to the national team, I have the Europeans. I am happy we have reached the European Championships and I will be playing and I will enjoy it," he said. "What happens after, I don't know.
If I will be playing the qualification for Russia, I don't know. That is too far, too soon to answer." Ibrahimovic was talking to Middle Eastern-based reporters by phone ahead of PSG's winter tour to Qatar, which starts on December 27. He made his debut for Sweden back in 2001 and has scored 62 times for his country. The French champions will play his old team Inter in Doha in a friendly on December 30.
The 34-year-old helped his team qualify through the play-offs last month, scoring twice against Denmark. Sweden were then drawn in a tough group of Belgium, Italy and Ireland in France next year. "We are there now and we will enjoy every game we play," he said. "The toughest opponent, I think, will be all three because every team that is in the European championships is a good team that's why they are there.
"We want to go further (than the group stage), that's our mentality. go as far as possible." He said the French people would cheer Sweden as well because of his exploits at PSG. "We can do fantastic things," he added. In a wide-ranging interview, Ibrahimovic also said he was uncertain about his club future. His Paris contract runs out in June and said he did not know where he would play next year.
"In my thoughts now I don't have any destination," he said. "This is a new situation for me. "Normally, I have a contract for years and then change club but this is something different. My contract ends and then you are free to do whatever you want, so something totally new for me." The Swede also backed the controversial Qatar World Cup in 2022. "I feel and I think it will be an amazing thing," he said. "This is something I don't want to miss."