Sweden have been hit with a huge blow for the upcoming European Championship, with iconic forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic being ruled out of this summer's tournament after picking up a knee injury while on club duty.
The 39-year-old legend announced earlier this year that he would be coming out of retirement to help his nation in Euro 2020 despite hanging up his international boots way back in 2015. However, after suffering a knock in AC Milan's recent 3-0 victory over Juventus, his absence from this summer's tournament was confirmed.
"I have spoken to Zlatan Ibrahimovic who unfortunately has told me that his injury will stop his participation in the European Championship this summer," Sweden team coach Janne Andersson said in a statement, as per France 24.
"Of course this feels sad, most of all for Zlatan but, also for us."
Ibrahimovic has been nothing but inspirational for AC Milan since returning to the San Siro, scoring 17 times in 27 appearances this season, netting 15 goals in 19 Serie A outings. This earned him a contract extension with the club but his 2021 has been rocked with injuries.
He will be out for the remainder of the Italian top-flight campaign as Pioli's third-placed side look to secure their spot in next season's UEFA Champions League amid a heated top-four race. Zlatan will miss the Rossoneri's final two games of the season: a home clash with Cagliari and a crucial trip to second-placed Atalanta on the final day.
There was hope that Ibrahimovic would recover from his knee injury in time for the Euros, but this was killed when medical experts recommended "conservative treatment for six weeks" for the Swede. This means he will be on the sidelines until the end of June, with Sweden set to kick off their continental campaign on June 14 against Spain.