Ibrahimovic: 'FIFA can't stop me' if I want to play in 2018 World Cup

Lars Baron / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has decreed that not even FIFA can prevent his return to the Sweden national team for the World Cup - should he choose to return - despite ties to a betting firm potentially disqualifying him from competing.

The 36-year-old called time on his international career before Sweden qualified for the 2018 edition of the tournament, but Ibrahimovic is now pondering a reversal of his decision in order to help his nation compete in Russia this summer.

However, his recent partnership with betting firm Bethard Group may prevent him from even making that decision, as FIFA's regulations outline that players with such endorsements cannot be allowed to compete.

Ever a lion at heart, Ibrahimovic dismissed those trivial rules entirely.

"FIFA can't stop me," Ibrahimovic said, as quoted by ESPN FC. "If I want to be there, I'll be there. It's the same with the national team. If I want to play, I'll play. It's not up to FIFA. It's up to me and what I want.

"The door is open. I feel I can do it. I know what I can do. If everything goes well, we can talk about it, but it's not on the agenda right now. I'm just happy to play. I'm in that frame of mind. The fact I'm good in what I'm doing. The other things, I can't control that."

Having overcome a serious knee injury that ultimately brought his time at Manchester United to an end, the LA Galaxy newcomer suggested in March that he will be the one to decide whether he reverses his post-Euro 2016 retirement, stating: "I mean (Sweden) are calling me every day asking me, 'How do you feel? What do you want? What are you thinking? How is the situation?' But one step at a time."

He added: "If I feel good, if I feel I am able and can do what I know I can do, I mean the door will always be open. It has nothing to do on the other side, it is from this side, let's say me."

Ibrahimovic: 'FIFA can't stop me' if I want to play in 2018 World Cup
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