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Ibrahimovic to miss World Cup as Swedes fail to qualify

14 October 2009 23:35

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - One of Europe's top stars, Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, will not be taking part in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa after Sweden failed to qualify Wednesday.

"When it's over it's over. It's been a great journey even though the end is bitter," Sweden coach Lars Lagerbaeck said after his team failed to qualify.

Ibrahimovic, who scored in each of Barcelona's first five matches this year after leading his previous team Inter Milan to three Serie A crowns, failed to work his magic for the national squad throughout the qualifiers.

Instead, the 28-year-old went goalless at the weekend as Sweden lost 1-0 to Denmark in Group A, reducing their chances of a trip to South Africa to a long shot.

Sweden beat Albania 4-1 on Wednesday but Portugal, who beat Malta 4-0, took the runners-up place in Group One with Denmark topping the section to qualify automatically.

"It's over now, there's nothing we can do it about it. Sure it feels a bit better that we won today but it is really disappointing to miss the World Cup," said Lagerbaeck, who announced at the weekend that he would step down as coach.

Ibrahimovic's switch to from Inter Milan to Barcelona was one of the sensations of the close-season transfer window, after Barca paid an mouth-watering 46 million euros to secure his signature.

But while the striker has dazzled for Barca and Inter Milan -- he was named Italian Player of the Year in 2009 -- he has at times struggled to score for Sweden even though the team has played in five straight major championships: the European championships in 2000, 2004 and 2008 and the World Cup in 2002 and 2006.

Ibrahimovic has scored 22 goals in 61 caps for the Scandinavian country.

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Info

4 - 1

Competition
WC Qualification Europe
Date
14 October 2009
Kick-off
20:45
Half-time
3 - 0
Full-time
4 - 1
Venue
Råsundastadion (Solna)
Attendance
25342

Goals

1 - 0
M. Berg 40'  
2 - 0
3 - 0
3 - 1
4 - 1

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Wednesday 30 July

Tuesday 29 July

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Monday 28 July

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