Swedes accept Zlatan decision
By Kent Hedlundh
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Lars Lagerback insists he accepts Zlatan Ibrahimovic's self-imposed exile.
Sweden coach Lars Lagerback insists he accepts Zlatan Ibrahimovic's self-imposed exile.
The Internazionale front man is refusing to play for his country after being sent home before the recent Euro 2008 qualifier with Liechtenstein, having broken a team curfew along with Christian Wilhelmsson and Olof Mellberg.
Whilst Mellberg and Wilhelmsson have since made their peace with Lagerback, and the rest of the squad, Ibrahimovic continues to hold back his services.
Lagerback is confident that his star striker will make a return in the not too distant future, for the moment content to draw a line under the matter.
"After these matches we will move on," said Lagerback.
"We will talk with each other and I am quite certain that Zlatan will be back when he regains his form."
International team-mate Kim Kallstrom has echoed the words of his coach, but admits he cannot understand why anybody would choose to turn their back on their country.
"It is his decision and you have to respect that," he said.
"Although, I don't understand why someone doesn't want to play for the national team.
"You shouldn't try to convince him, it should be fun to play, it shouldn't be forced."
Meanwhile, Aston Villa defender Mellberg concedes he is a fitness doubt for Saturday's European Championship qualifier against Spain.
"The pain is in the knee," he told Aftonbladet. "It's difficult to tell how serious it is."