Sweden has been dealt a major blow ahead of the European Championship, as legendary forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been ruled out due to a knee injury sustained while on club duty.
BREAKING: Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss the Euros with a knee injury 🚨— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 15, 2021
He came out of international retirement after five years earlier this year. pic.twitter.com/GRIDPfvLmt
Despite having retired from international football in 2015, the 39-year-old legend revealed earlier this year that he will be returning to support his country at Euro 2020.
However, his absence from this summer's tournament was confirmed after he suffered an injury in AC Milan's recent 3-0 victory over Juventus.
"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."
Since returning to the San Siro, Ibrahimovic has been nothing short of inspirational for AC Milan, scoring 17 goals in 27 appearances this season, including 15 goals in 19 Serie A appearances. This secured him a contract extension with the club, but injuries have plagued his 2021 season.
He'll miss the rest of the season as Pioli's third-placed side tries to secure a place in next season's UEFA Champions League in the midst of a tight top-four race.
Zlatan will miss the Rossoneri's final two games of the season, including a home match against Cagliari and a vital final-day trip to second-placed Atalanta.
There was hope that Ibrahimovic would recover from his knee injury in time for the Euros, but that hope was dashed when medical professionals suggested that the Swede receive "conservative care for six weeks."
This means he will be out until the end of June, with Sweden's continental campaign scheduled to begin on June 14 against Spain.