Sweden go from Zlatan-dependence to thriving under the ‘monster’ | Marcus Christenson

Sweden have been transformed since Zlatan Ibrahimovic quit and are now facing Switzerland in the last 16 under the angry yet understated leadership of Janne Andersson

Zlatan Ibrahimovic retired from international football after Sweden’s dismal exit from Euro 2016 but, as we all know, he did not go away. He carried on playing for Manchester United and LA Galaxy and was pretty dominant in the buildup to this World Cup too.

The will-he-won’t-he go to the World Cup question was a feature in Swedish media throughout this spring, often fuelled by comments from the man himself. Janne Andersson, the Sweden coach, kept a dignified silence throughout the brouhaha but it was quite clear that he had no interest in recalling the former captain.

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