Zlatan voices concern on future of national team

Sweden forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic has spoken of his concern about the national side’s future because of the lack of first-team action young players are getting in the Swedish league and Swedes overseas are getting in foreign leagues.

The Paris Saint-Germain man, 32, said that the country will not qualify for major tournaments if the policy of selecting “raw players” during the qualifying campaign continues. He acknowledged that it’s understandable everyone wants to make it to the World Cup or the Euro finals, but said it’s difficult to play inexperienced players who aren’t playing regularly for their club side in international matches.

Ibrahimovic pointed out that many people talk of the potential of Manchester City striker John Guidetti, 22, but the fact is he wasn’t playing for City, was loaned out to fellow Premier League side Stoke City, and hasn’t been playing there either. He added that he was very worried about the current situation.

The forward, who has scored 48 times in 97 appearances for Sweden, pointed out that Lionel Messi was already in Barcelona’s first team when he was still 16, and questioned why young Swedes in the Swedish first division aren’t being given a chance. He noted that only Malmo gives these players a chance, and said that others should be doing the same.