Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 35, is a household name, a footballing legend, with a track record of scoring goals and winning trophies all across Europe with different clubs. Last night, he scored at Hat-trick (3 goals) in the Europa Cup 3-0 win against St. Etienne, with a deflected Free-Kick, a tap-in and a penalty kick. It doesn’t matter how they go in? But, Zlatan can also be accredited with scoring some of the most epic goals the world has ever seen, such as this thirty-five yard overhead kick against England at Wembley, in November of 2012.
Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho had already called for his other players to try and take all the goalscoring responsibilities off of Zlatan last week, yet, this was Zlatan’s 23rd goal of the season across all competitions since his arrival on a Free Transfer in the summer.
That’s been sort of the problem for Manchester United this season; they have been incredibly unlucky and or lacking in goals from many of their other players. Even when they have dominated games, Paul Pogba has mostly become renowned for hitting the goal posts or giving away penalties with his hand, but such has been the fortune of the Red Devils this season, along with sometimes playing very well and not scoring, to not looking like they would ever score unless Zlatan did.
So, Zlatan shows no signs of slowing down which proves that some players can play into their mid thirties and be just as good as they were before, but hardly anyone quite as amazing as Zlatan, has been able to reproduce such impeccable statistics of his goal per game average and also in winning trophies at every club he has played in. Just take a moment to look at these stats, right here.
Unreal statistics! That’s like nobody else in footballing history to ever do that, granted he has played at some great clubs, but wherever he goes, he’s the greatest player. And, with a League Cup Final next week against Southampton coming up, Zlatan will be hoping to add another to his collection of achievements and trophy cabinet. He is a winner and winners tend to win and he is somebody who radiates a passion for the game, rejuvenating any football side that he plays in. He is well liked in the dressing room and his footballing skill is undoubted.
After last nights hat-trick Zlatan, he said, “Every trophy for me is incredible, everywhere I came I won so if I can win something here I will be super happy. People that know me know that I play in many clubs and I try to do my best. Wherever I went I won – so I am like Indiana Jones”.
Sort of like a footballer adventurer, winning wherever he goes, but we almost preferred his earlier statement of being the “God of Manchester” in response to Eric Cantona’s earlier comments about him being “the King of Manchester”, at the start of the season.
If winning the League Cup and if they can pull off winning the Europa League, then this will add some weight to the God status becoming true. However, he is already proving that his goalscoring is second to none in just his first season at the club. Zlatan should be at Manchester United for a second season, as this man is clearly not heading to China. Last night’s highlights below.
Jose Mourinho was generally not happy about the way Manchester played in the first half, but at least they grinder out for the three goals, which were’t the prettiest, but they will do.
Zlatan spoke on the victory, “We won 3-0 and I got to score the three goals so I am happy for that. We have still many games to play so hopefully I can continue like I am doing. I’ve scored a couple of goals against them, I don’t focus on specific opponents, I just try to do my job, try to do what I am good at.”
That was Zlatan’s 17th career Hat-Trick and his first for Manchester United.
He said about the Second Leg to be played in St. Etienne, “A good result because I know how difficult it is to play over there. They have a fantastic crowd, fantastic support, and the stadium is very nice, so the guys will see it when we go there. It was important today to get a good result.”
However, Manchester United should still strive to kill them off as much as possible in the second leg, as Jose Mourinho has stated he wants more goals from his players.
It will be interesting to see how well they play going forwards and if the burden of scoring most of the goals by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, is already improving with Inside Forward, Anthony Martial even getting on the score sheet last week.
Once the team gels more and there is more of a penetrative attacking play around the strength and precision passing of Zlatan, then this will surely mean even more goals being scored. But, Zlatan hasn’t been seen to be getting that much-needed pacey support all season and with Anthony Martial available, maybe they just need a more attack minded right footed forward to support on the other side, somebody who can also score goals. Henrik Mkhitaryan is a great midfielder but he doesn’t quite grab you 15+ goals a season and last year Martial only got 11.
Anyway, Zlatan Ibrahimovic might just be the “Superman” of football, that’s all we are saying.
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Featured photo Credit: SkySports