Zlatan Ibrahimovic sparked a frenzy during a recent interview when he said he will be at the World Cup this summer despite having retired from international football after Sweden were eliminated in the group stages at Euro 2016. The national team coach ended the speculation by addressing the chances of the striker making the 23-man squad this summer.

The 36-year-old has not played for Sweden for almost two years, but has made no secret of his desire to go to the World Cup in Russia this summer. He has played in two World Cups — 2002 and 2006 — after his country failed to qualify in 2010 and 2014.

The Scandinavian nation came through the playoffs to qualify for the showpiece event in Russia this summer and it was at the cost of four-time winners Italy, who for the first time in 60 years, have failed to make it to the World Cup.

Ibrahimovic has been in fine form since retiring from the national team. He scored 28 goals for Manchester United during the 2016-17 season helping them to three trophies before he suffered a severe knee injury in April 2017.

The former Barcelona and Inter Milan forward returned to action at the end of last year, but after losing his place in Jose Mourinho’s squad, he chose to terminate his contract with the Red Devils and join Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit Los Angeles Galaxy for the start of the new MLS season.

Ibrahimovic is back in form having scored three goals in his first four matches in America which includes a brace — a 30-yard volley and the winner — on his debut in the derby against Los Angeles FC on March 31. After making a blistering start in the United States, he expressed his desire to go to the World Cup with his country.

However, Sweden manager Janne Andersson, dashed his hopes and confirmed the striker will not be part of his 23-man squad for the World Cup in Russia this summer. It is certain that Ibrahimovic will make the team stronger, but the manager says he has to look to the players, who have been committed to the national team throughout their qualification process rather than a player that rejected the team in 2016.

"Ibrahimovic said no to the national team,” Andersson said when asked about Ibrahimovic’s chances of making the team, as quoted by the Sun. "He was not going to be in the team after the European Championship, and I respected him.”

"If you rejected the team, I do not think you should come back. I respect what he said and those who said 'yes.'”

"[Ibrahimovic] has not called me, but he's definitely not included in the plans for the World Cup,” the Sweden manager confirmed, all but ending talk about a sensational return to the national team for the former Barcelona forward.