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Zlatan Ibrahimovic has withdrawn from Sweden’s squad ahead of their upcoming World Cup qualifier due to his Achilles tendon injury, the country’s football association announced on Saturday.
The striker, who turns 40 on Sunday, has only played once this season for AC Milan and scored as a substitute in a victory against Lazio last month.
He ended a nearly five-year retirement from international football in March with the aim of playing in Euro 2020, but missed the tournament with a knee injury.
Sweden will host Kosovo on October 9 and Greece three days later.
“Unfortunately, it is not far enough in his recovery to be able to play in the next matches”, says Sweden’s coach Janne Andersson in a statement.
“It’s a shame for us, and a shame for Zlatan too, of course.”
The Swedes are second in qualifying group B, four points behind Spain but with two matches in hand.
Ibrahimovic is his country’s record shooter of all time with 62 goals in 118 matches, but has not found the net in international football since 2015.
Sweden has called up Viktor Gyokeres in his place. The Gyokeres, who won the second of their two internationals in 2019, have scored nine goals in 11 appearances this season for English side Coventry.
© 2021 AFP