Zlatan Ibrahimovic made a winning return to international football with Sweden on Thursday after nearly five years away as Germany came out for human rights in their opening qualifier for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Ibrahimovic set up Viktor Claesson’s 35th-minute winner in the 1-0 win over Georgia at the Friends Arena just outside Stockholm in his 117th appearance for his national team, his first since Euro 2016.
The AC Milan forward had to hold back the tears as he spoke to reporters on Monday about his international comeback, and he was in good spirits after a win that puts Sweden top of Group B.
“It felt good. It felt like it was my first international match. It was a lot of adrenaline,” Ibrahimovic told Sverige Radio.
Sweden lead their group two points ahead of Greece and Spain, who played out a surprising 1-1 draw in Granada.
Alvaro Morata opened the scoring with a superb control and finish from Koke’s clipped pass in the 33rd minute.
But the Greeks levelled through their only shot of the entire match, Anastasios Bakasetas’ penalty in the 57th minute after Inigo Martinez fouled Giorgios Masouras.
“I don’t like the result and we weren’t inspired either… Whenever we got near the Greek penalty area we lacked sharpness and efficacy,” said Spain coach Luis Enrique.