Ibra mulls international hiatus
Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic today confirmed his plans to take a break from international duty in the wake of Sweden's failure to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.
Sweden missed out a spot in South Africa after finishing third in their qualifying group behind Denmark and Portugal, and Ibrahimovic admits the desire is not there for him to play in friendly matches and instead will concentrate on club matters with Barcelona.
"For the moment I will not play for the national team because I'm not motivated, there are no important games nor is there the World Cup, so it's very difficult," he said at a Barcelona press conference today ahead of Wednesday's UEFA Champions League game with Dynamo Kiev. "I would be wasting energy for no reason, a sacrifice for nothing.
"It's always been a great honour to play for the national team," he went on. "I don't know what will happen in the future, we will see next year. Now I have other things on my mind."
Ibrahimovic joined Barça from Inter Milan this summer in a €66-million deal that saw the Catalan giants give the Italian club €46 million plus striker Samuel Eto'o in exchange for the 28-year-old.
After a slow start, Ibrahimovic has proved himself an invaluable member of Pep Guardiola's side as Barcelona attempt to defend their Champions League, Primera Division and Copa del Rey titles from last season. In 16 domestic and European appearances, Ibrahimovic has scored 11 times and claimed assists for five other goals.
"There are so many games with Barcelona and so many things to think about that I barely have time to think about the national team," added Ibrahimovic.