Zlatan: 'Without me, the World Cup isn't worth watching'

Following last night's exit from the World Cup playoffs, Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes he will be sorely missed in Brazil.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward scored twice to give the Swedes hope of overturning a 2-0 deficit, but late goals from Cristiano Ronaldo sealed Portugal's place at the 2014 World Cup, leaving the 33 year old to contemplate his international future.

"It was probably the last attempt to reach the World Cup with the national team for me," Ibrahimovic said.

"One thing is for sure, a World Cup without me is nothing to watch so it is not worthwhile to wait for the World Cup. Congratulations to Portugal but both teams deserved to get to the World Cup. The disappointment of course is great now that the World Cup in Brazil will remain a dream for the Swedish national team."

"Of course I'm disappointed. I wanted to play the World Cup," added Ibrahimovic. "We did our best. Unfortunately, we played against a better team, better than us no doubt."

The former AC Milan and Barcelona striker will be approaching his 37th birthday by the time the 2018 World Cup finishes, and will likely be winding down his career at that stage. Whilst Henrik Larsson continued to represent the Swedish national team until the age of 38, the nature of Zlatan means Sweden are likely already preparing for a scenario where he isn't available to play.

His international record with Sweden is phenomenal, scoring 48 goals in 96 games and that goals-to-game ratio will be sorely missed by Sweden fans and players alike. Whilst much of Sweden's team features hard workers like Sebastian Larsson and Johan Elmander, Zlatan was the clear star and gave his team a chance in every game, including where there seemed to be no hope - like last night.

images: © prettyfriendship, © Russell C

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