Influences close to the player, however, felt a return would be good. "If the decision were mine, personally speaking, I'd take him," the 36-year-old striker's agent Mino Raiola told Swedish daily Expressen. In the post-match press conference, coach Janne Andersson was irritated by reporters' focus on whether their veteran former star could again pull on the yellow jersey at the finals in Russia next year. "This is incredible. This player stopped playing with Sweden a year and a half ago and we are still talking about him," Andersson told reporters.
"We need to talk about the great players we have in this team," insisted Andersson, whose side beat France 2-1 at home and finished ahead of the Netherlands to clinch second place in Group A of European qualifying. "Now, when I am not a part of the team they are playing with less pressure. People are expecting less," Ibrahimovic said of Sweden's qualification for the play-offs. One player who has shone in his absence is Emil Forsberg of RB Leipzig, watched by Jose Mourinho, who was in the stands alongside his injured striker in Sweden's 1-0 win in Stockholm last Friday. Italy totally dominated Monday's match but Sweden earned a return to the World Cup for the first time since 2006 thanks to Jakob Johansson's strike in that bruising first leg.
Ibrahimović:"Buffon can cry as much as he wants but the fact is Sweden deserved to go through so please appreciate them." Not like Zlatan to say something controversial...? pic.twitter.com/JbUnRlDp3X — Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) November 14, 2017