If he enters the pitch of the Stockholm National Stadium on March 24 against the Red Devils or on March 27 against the Azerbaijanis, the whimsical striker would become the oldest player to play in a qualifying match for a European Championship.

Back from injury, the AC Milan player would erase from the shelves Dino Zoff, who had played against the... Sweden on May 29, 1983, at 41 years, three months and one day.

"Zlatan has made three rather long substitutions with Milan recently and feels in decent form even if he has been out for a long time," coach Janne Andersson said in the statement announcing the Swedish selection.

"In this context, I think he can bring something. Especially on the pitch, but also off it," said the Scandinavian coach.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic during a press conference of the Swedish team in Stockholm, March 22, 2022, before the Sweden-Czech Republic qualifying match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. © Jonas EKSTROMER / TT News Agency/AFP

"Ibra", born on October 3, 1981, will be 41 years, five months and 21 days during Sweden-Belgium played at the Friends Arena in Solna.

The Malmo native had come off a five-year international retirement in 2021, but failed with his teammates to qualify for the Qatari World Cup, with elimination in the play-offs.

Despite this failure, he had shown his wish to continue as long as possible in selection.

If Sweden qualifies for the next Euro in Germany, and if Zlatan plays a match there, he would become by far the oldest player to play in a European finals.

The record is currently held by Hungarian goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly, who played at Euro 2016 at 40 years and 86 days, according to UEFA.

© 2023 AFP