Zlatan open to playing in Euros next year
Veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic said Tuesday he was hoping to play in the Euros next year despite his age, as his Swedish squad prepared for its first qualifier against Belgium.
Ibrahimovic, 41 is already set to break Italian goalkeeper Dino Zoff’s age record in a Euro qualifier of 40 years and 90 days, set in 1983.
“I don’t think that far ahead, given what I have been through with injuries and such. If I feel good physically I am going to keep going,” the AC Milan veteran striker told reporters, when asked if he intended to play in Euro 2024 in Germany, should Sweden qualify.
Over the weekend, Ibrahimovic made history by becoming the oldest person to score a goal in Italy’s Serie A.
While pleased with the achievement, the footballer said he still wanted to be able to “be compared to everyone else” and not just be impressive for his age.
“I’m not here for charity. I’m here to play my game and to provide and bring results through my performance. So hopefully I can continue to do that,” Ibrahimovic said.
Should Sweden qualify for next year’s competition, Ibrahimovic could also beat the age record for a European championship, set by Hungary’s Gabor Kiraly, who played in the 2016 edition aged 40.
After Sweden failed to make it to the 2022 World Cup, Ibrahimovic said last year he would “continue as long as I can” and has said he is “panicking” at the prospect of retiring.
Sweden will be facing off against Belgium on Friday and Azerbaijan on March 27.
The three countries are all in the qualifying group F, together with Estonia and Austria, with the top two reaching the knock-out stage.