Ibra flattered by English interest
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has refused to rule out a move to the English Premier League one day, but insists he has no intention of quitting Barcelona any time soon.
He joined the Catalan giants last summer from Inter Milan in what was the second most expensive transfer in football history. The lanky striker has since been linked with both Manchester City and Chelsea and, although flattered by the speculation, he claims he is happy at the Nou Camp despite mixed reviews of his first season there.
"The whole summer, it has been a new club every day," said Ibrahimovic, as he prepares for his return to the Sweden national team for tomorrow's friendly against Scotland. "I'm very happy there is an interest in me but I have four years more with Barcelona and I will not leave Barcelona because I am very happy there and I play with the best team in the world.
"I'm very happy to stay there but if clubs are interested in me, I take it as a compliment. It means I'm doing a good job," he went on. "To play in England one day - absolutely. I feel I can give much more and I can still develop. You never know what happens in football, in 24 hours a lot of things can change."
Sweden coach Erik Hamren claims he was impressed by the efforts of his star man for Barcelona last term and is thrilled he agreed to return to the national fold. Ibrahimovic retired from international football following Sweden's failure to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ but is back to boost their chances of qualifying for UEFA EURO 2012.
"It's tough to say he had an up-and-down season because in my opinion, he had a good season in his first year at Barcelona," Hamren said. "He is looking forward to coming back to the Swedish team and I'm sure we will have a lot of energy and quality when he is back."
Of the comeback, the coach added: "For me, it has to come from the player's heart. As a coach, I can help, of course. But if it's not coming from themselves, you can be the best player in the world but if you're not motivated it's not going to be good for the team. He has taken the decision to play for Sweden and wants to do his best for Sweden and we are all really happy."
Both Sweden and Scotland are seeking a boost ahead of their respective qualifying campaigns after both nations missed out on South Africa 2010 this summer. "You always hope to play as well as possible and to have a good performance. We want to win but I'm sure Scotland will want to win too," the coach concluded.