Sweden’s record goalscorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been recalled to the national team five years after announcing his retirement.
The 39-year-old scored 62 goals in 116 internationals before calling it a quit after the team’s Euro 2016 group-stage exit.
He opened the door to a return in a newspaper interview in November 2020 and Sweden coach Janne Andersson then flew to Milan to meet with the striker.
Ibrahimovic has 14 goals in 14 Serie A appearances for AC Milan this season.
Sweden faces Georgia on Thursday, 25 March before playing Kosovo three days later in their opening two 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
Ibrahimovic has responded to Sweden’s declaration of their squad by tweeting: “The return of the God.”
“He can be quite funny sometimes,” Andersson said when told about the striker’s tweet during an online news conference.
“Most importantly he is a very good footballer, the best we have had in Sweden. It’s obviously very good that he wants to return.
“Aside from what he can contribute on the field, he has amazing experience and can give that to the other players in the team.”
The 6ft 5in striker made his international debut as a 19-year-old against the Faroe Islands and scored in his first competitive match – a qualifier for the 2002 World Cup against Azerbaijan.
He was chosen captain for Euro 2012 qualifying and scored one of the best goals of the finals with a volley in a 2-0 win over France, although Sweden was removed at the group stage.
The former Barcelona, Paris St-German, Manchester United, and LA Galaxy striker rejoined AC Milan on a six-month deal – with the opportunity for another season – in January 2020.
Ibrahimovic scored 29 goals in 53 games for United, who agreed to end his contract early before he became part of MLS side Galaxy in 2018.