Zlatan Ibrahimovic has blasted Sweden coach Janne Andersson over his team selection, labelling him a “f****** joke” following the defeat to France.
Juventus winger Dejan Kulusevski was left out of Sweden’s starting XI in favour of ex-Sunderland veteran Sebastian Larsson, 35, who now plays for AIK.
Kulusevski did get on the field for the final 20 minutes but was unable to help his side avoid a 1-0 loss in Saturday’s Nations League fixture, which was decided by Kylian Mbappe’s goal.
The 20-year-old had an impressive season out on loan at Parma in 2019/20, where he scored 10 goals and provided eight assists throughout the campaign.
Asked after the game whether he felt he deserved to start as a sub, Kulusevski replied: “No, I don’t think so. I was shocked.
“It felt really, really good in training. But unfortunately, that’s how football is.”
Ibrahimovic was not involved in the squad but was clearly dismayed with the decision to bench Kulusevski too, after criticising Andersson’s call on social media.
The legendary striker shared a related article by Swedish publication Aftonbladet , and commented: “What a f****** joke. Further proof. Incompetent people in the wrong positions that suffocate Swedish football.”
Andersson has been in charge of the Sweden team since 2016 and has been fairly successful in the role, taking them to the World Cup quarter-finals, winning their Nations League group last year and qualifying for Euro 2021.
Do you agree with Zlatan’s view? Have your say below.
Quizzed on Kulusevski’s comments after the meeting with France, the 57-year-old said: “In this case, I had no separate talk with Dejan, absolutely not.
“I have not talked to him myself after the game, but if he has said that, he probably thinks so.
“We’ll talk about that. I have not experienced him as very shocked.
“He has done well in training, just like many others. We will see if there will be more playing time on Tuesday. He has great qualities and is a great player and will grow into this eventually.”
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