Zlatan Ibrahimovic was overcome with emotion during a press conference on duty with Sweden as he returns to the national team five years after retiring.
The 39-year-old called time on his international career after Euro 2016 and looked to have played his last match for his country.
But following his impressive performances for AC Milan, Ibrahimovic was recalled to the squad for the World Cup qualifiers this week, having signalled his intentions to play in this summer’s European Championships.
And while speaking to the media on Monday he broke down in tears as he admitted his 12-year-old son was upset that he was going away.
“Vincent cried when I left him,” Ibrahimovic said.
The forward has two sons with partner Helena Seger – with Maximilian two years older than his brother Vincent.
Ibrahimovic has been belying his years as ever this season, scoring 15 league goals for Milan – the fourth highest in Serie A.
He is now in line to feature in the qualifiers against Georgia, Kosovo and Estonia this week and insists he is not just returning for a sentimental swansong.
“To play in the national team is the biggest thing you can do as a football player, and as I was following them (Sweden), inside me I was feeling I think I can help them, I think I can do something,” he said.
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“Obviously it’s not up to me, what a player wants and what a coach wants, it has to go together.
“I’ve got the opportunity now to play for my country and I do it with honour, but it’s not only about that – it sounds like I’m only happy to be here, but I’m here to get results, to bring results for the coach and my team-mates and the whole country.
“As much as I talk here, if I don’t bring results, here it means nothing.”
[email protected] (Darren Wells)