Sven-Goran Eriksson would not be surprised if Sweden tried to convince Zlatan Ibrahimovic to come out of international retirement, insisting that is exactly what he would be doing if he was in charge.
Ibrahimovic called time on his Sweden career at Euro 2016, walking away from the national team as their all-time highest-scoring player with 62 goals in 116 appearances, after the Scandinavians failed to make it beyond the group stage in France.
The 34-year-old former captain’s retirement leaves a big hole as Sweden prepare for life under new coach Janne Andersson, who replaced Erik Hamren following the European Championship.
But former England and Manchester City boss Eriksson – now coaching Chinese Super League giants Shanghai SIPG – feels his compatriot’s international duties might not be over as the star striker continues his career with Manchester United in the Premier League.
“Of course it’s a big loss. Zlatan has been the best player for the Sweden in the history of the country,” Eriksson told Omnisport of his fellow Swede.
“His career has been fantastic as he heads to Manchester United.
“But you never know in football. The new coach has to bring a new team, a little bit of a new team, and then I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried to convince Zlatan to stay for a couple of years as long as he continues to play for United.
“If I was coach, I’d try to convince Zlatan.”
Sweden’s road to the 2018 World Cup in Russia gets underway against the Netherlands on September 6.