Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been ruled out of the upcoming European Championship due to injury, Sweden’s national team has confirmed.
The AC Milan striker pulled up with a knee injury in the second half of the Rossoneri’s recent 3-0 thumping of Juventus.
Head coach Stefano Pioli had originally hoped the injury was merely a knock but it now appears the 39-year-old will need a substantial amount of time to recover.
What happened to Ibrahimovic?
The veteran forward was competing for a ball when he went down with what appeared to be a non-contact injury. He persisted for a couple of minutes but ultimately needed to be replaced by Ante Rebic.
After the match, Pioli said: “Ibra wasn’t fit before the game, now he feels pain in his knee and we hope it’s nothing too serious.”
Ibrahimovic subsequently missed Wednesday’s clash with Torino, with Pioli adding that his main goal threat was merely suffering from a “slight sprain”, but it now appears that the injury is worse than originally feared.
What have Sweden said?
In a statement released on Saturday via Twitter, Svensk Fotboll said:
“Today, Zlatan has informed [head coach] Janne Andersson that his injury will stop him from participating in the European Championships this summer.
“Get well, Zlatan, we hope to see you on the football field again soon!”
The bigger picture
Milan have two matches left of the Serie A season in their attempts to finish in the top four and seal Champions League football for the 2021-22 campaign.
The Rossoneri currently sit in third place and hold a three-point advantage over fifth-placed Juventus.
Wednesday’s incredible 7-0 win over Torino came without the Swede’s services, however, and Milan now boast a tally of 12 goals in just three matches.
They next face Cagliari on Sunday, followed by an intriguing final matchday clash with second-placed Atalanta.
For Sweden’s part, they will have to make do with Marcus Berg, Alexander Isak, Robin Quaison and Dejan Kulusevski up top in Ibrahimovic’s absence.
Sweden will face Poland, Slovakia and Spain in Group E of the European Championship.