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Zlatan in Row with New National Coach

Published tisdag 10 november 2009 kl 12.03

The newly appointed coach of the Swedish national football side Erik Hamrén has made a bold opening statement and shown who's boss with his very first squad by leaving out star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovich for the international friendly with Italy next week.

It's been widely reported for some time that the 28 year Barcelona striker was questioning whether to carry on playing for the national side and after a telephone conversation between the pair, Hamrén decided to leave out his best player, saying that he only wanted players 100 percent committed to the cause. In response, Zlatan's agent Mino Raiola hit back by saying that his man should be left "in peace."

"A player with Zlatan's status should be able to have the right to reflect in peace with being put under pressure in this fashion," Mino Raiola told the Aftonbladet tabloid. "I would have acted differently. This risks aggravating the situation," Raiola added.

The comments came in response to Hamrén's omission of his star player from the squad to face Italy, saying "There is a name missing - that of Zlatan. He does not know if he wants to continue playing in the national side. You cannot force a horse to drink. I want motivated players in the national side," he added.

The 28 year old was voted Sweden's player of the year for the fourth straight time on Monday for his scoring exploits with Italian champions Inter Milan last season before his summer move to Barcelona.

 about for a long time, “Hamrén said at a press conference.

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