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Ending weeks of speculation, the Swedish football federation announced Thursday that star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who quit the national squad in 2016, will not make a comeback for the World Cup in Russia. It read, "Zlatan Ibrahimovic has previously refused to play in the national team - and he has not changed".

The Swedes in the play-offs for the world Cup sensationally beat the Italian national team.

Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic gestures during their Euro 2016 group G qualification match against Liechtenstein in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, October 9, 2015.

The 36-year-old had hinted about wanting to play for his nation on a couple occasions since joining the Galaxy in late March.

The news comes after Zlatan appeared on The Jimmy Kimmel Show last week, saying: "I'm going to the World Cup, yes".

Ibrahimovic, who has also played for the likes of Juventus, Barcelona and Paris St Germain, went to the 2002 and 2006 tournaments and scored 62 goals for Sweden.

"If you rejected the team, I do not think you should come back".

Swedish national coach Lars Richt told the Swedish FA's website: "I spoke to Zlatan on Tuesday".

He said: "I have obviously been intensively courted by betting companies throughout my career, but up until now I have not been presented to anything that has triggered me".


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