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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Andersson rules out talk of Ibrahimovic coming out of international retirement

Should Sweden welcome back Zlatan Ibrahimovic now that they're World Cup bound? Alejandro Moreno isn't so sure.
Janne Andersson was not thrilled to be asked about Zlatan moments after Sweden qualified for the World Cup.
Fresh off qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, Sweden's players invade Eurosport's pitch-side set to celebrate.
Sweden held off Italy to advance to the 2018 World Cup, while the Italians failed to qualify for the first time since 1958.

Sweden boss Janne Andersson dismissed talk of a possible international return for retired striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic after his side's playoff win over Italy sealed qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

Sweden advanced 1-0 on aggregate to secure their spot in Russia -- a feat that denied the Italians a place in the finals for the first time since 1958.

Ibrahimovic, 36, called quits on his international career following last summer's European Championship in France. And local media asked if the Manchester United man would be considered for Russia.

However, Andersson preferred to keep the focus on his current squad's accomplishments, telling reporters after the match: "This is incredible! This player [Ibrahimovic] has just stopped to play with Sweden one year and a half ago and we are still here talking about him.

"Gosh, we need to talk about the great players we have in this team I believe."

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Turning his attention back to Monday's match, Andersson added: "What I wanted to say was that this was the demonstration that our collective acted like this during the whole length of the playoffs.

"We have many heroes tonight. I am a bit moved but obviously very happy with the result.

"When Ibrahimovic was here with us we played a different style of football.

"But considering that he has decided to leave international football, he is a great champion but we had to adapt and found another style."

Sweden defender Victor Lindelof said his side's unwavering belief was responsible for their qualification for the 2018 World Cup finals.

Jubilant Sweden players excitedly rushed a television crew set up on the sideline of the San Siro pitch after the match, damaging the desk at which the personalities were stationed.

And the 23-year-old defender highlighted the joy he felt in the moment, as well as his side's resilience against the four-time world champions over the two legs.

"It is the first time I have qualified for a World Cup and I am so, so happy," Lindelof told reporters.

"We knew coming here would be difficult but following the first game at home we believed we could do it.

"We work very, very hard. I don't know how to describe this team, we work so hard for each other. We know what we can do.

"We always believed we would go to a World Cup and here we are."

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