Franz Brorsson, who was a Malmo reserve when he travelled to France with his friends to watch Sweden play at UEFA EURO 2016, has revealed he was stunned by his international call-up and only got the news upon landing in Puerto Rico for a holiday.

Janne Andersson named a 24-man squad, largely comprising Allsvenskan-based players, for the January friendlies against Côte d'Ivoire and Slovakia in the United Arab Emirates. They will serve as preparation for the hosting of Belarus in 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ qualifying in March. Sweden are third in Group A, behind the Netherlands on goal difference and France by three points.

Brorsson only made a regular place in the Malmo side his own in August. The 20-year-old defender made his one and only appearance for the U-21s as a substitute in September. "I didn’t have a clue,” said Brorsson. “I had no hope of a call-up. But when we landed I saw my phone blowing up.

“I quickly checked there was a gym in the hotel. Fortunately there is. I’ve started training hard already. My holiday will be different to what I was expecting. Now it’s a lot of sun, swimming and exercise.”

Sweden have participated in 11 World Cups, but missed out on the last two. They finished runners-up to Brazil on home soil in 1958, and third in 1950 and 1994. The Scandinavians finished the latter tournament as its highest-scoring team, with the late Klas Ingesson, Tomas Brolin, Martin Dahlin and Kennet Andersson starring in the USA.