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Zlatan Ibrahimovic one of 35 finalists for Sweden Olympic team

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Sweden looks on during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group E match between Republic of Ireland and Sweden at Stade de France on June 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

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Star striker Zlatan Ibrahimović was one of 35 players named to a preliminary Sweden Olympic men’s soccer team published Wednesday, but his chances of making the final 18-man roster “are not huge,” Sweden’s coach said, according to the BBC.

The final roster will be announced by mid-July, according to the Swedish soccer federation.

Ibrahimović, 34, is currently captaining the Sweden national team at Euro 2016, with the tournament final July 10.
“Zlatan has said that he is willing to wait until after the Euros [to decide],” Sweden coach Hakan Ericson said Wednesday, according to Reuters. “I want to keep open the tiniest gap that might exist, because it would be fantastic to bring Zlatan.”

Whether the Olympic team includes Ibrahimović looks likely to depend on the striker’s club team.

Ibrahimović starred for Paris Saint-Germain the last four seasons, but his contract is up with the French club this summer, and he has been increasingly linked to Manchester United.

Ibrahimović's club team would have to OK a request for him to play in the Rio Games, whose soccer tournament runs from Aug. 4-20. The English Premier League season starts Aug. 13.

Ibrahimović has expressed interest in competing in Rio as far back as November 2014.

“If the chance presents itself, I could represent Sweden at the 2016 Olympics,” Ibrahimovic told Swedish outlet Aftonbladet then, according to comments translated by ESPNFC. “I have never played that competition as yet. I don’t know if I could be available for the team — but if I am, it’s ‘yes.’”

Sweden last qualified for the Olympic men’s soccer tournament in 1992.

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