Zlatan Ibrahimovic exclusive: FIFA can't stop me playing at the World Cup
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has boldly told Eurosport in an exclusive interview that FIFA cannot stop him play at the World Cup if he decides to come out of international retirement.
Ibrahimovic, 36, is currently mulling a return for Sweden and possibly adding to his 116 caps and 62 goals at what would be his third World Cup in Russia this summer.
While much will depend on how he performs after signing for LA Galaxy, just a year after suffering a serious knee injury, there has been speculation that FIFA regulations could prevent him from appearing in any case.
FIFA prevents players from having associations with gambling firms and so Ibrahimovic’s link-up with Bethard could in theory present a problem. Not that the striker is having any of it.
“FIFA can’t stop me. If I want to be there, I’ll be there,” Ibrahimovic told Eurosport.
“Just as with the national team, if I want to play, I’ll play.
“This is not a question for FIFA, it’s a question for me and what I want.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic from LA Galaxy (R) celebrates with teammates Emmanuel Boateng (L) and Ashley Cole (C)Reuters
Ibrahimovic scored a wonder goal on his debut but after leaving Manchester United he is still keen to prove his fitness before returning for the World Cup.
“The door is open, and not closed,” he said.
" If everything feels as it should and I feel that I can do the things I am capable of and want to do, as I’ve always done them, then we can talk about it. But that’s not where we are at right now. We’re in a position where I’m just happy that I can play."
“Now I want to play football, so let’s play football. And when we play football we will see if we can play football in the World Cup.”