Zlatan Ibrahimović is one of a kind. On Tuesday night in Copenhagen he proved exactly why he is such a special soccer player as Sweden was involved with a Playoff matchup against Denmark. He may be controversial off the pitch, but when a player can perform as well as Ibrahimović does, it is hard argue with any of his amateurish antics off the field.
On Tuesday night Ibrahimović added his 61st and 62nd goals in the traditional yellow shirt, blue shorts Swedish jersey. By far the most of any other player on the Sweden roster right now. It wasn’t that he scored though, it was the way he scored. In the first half it was off a corner kick, Ibrahimović received the small space he needed and exploited to give the gentlest of touches to find the bottom corner to give Sweden the 1-0 lead on the night, and the 3-1 aggregate lead.
His second goal was even more breathtaking. A free kick from a bit of a distance, he brilliantly kicked a shot that bent just enough to squeeze into the Danish net. This gave Sweden the 2-0 lead and at the same time sent a dagger through the hearts of Sweden’s bitter Scandinavian rival.
Ibrahimović is special. We know that. We have known that for a while now. At the age of 34, the native of Malmo, Sweden is nearing the end of his outstanding career.
As Sweden hung on for a 2-2 tie and advanced 4-3 on aggregate. Sweden punched their ticket for this summer’s marquee event. This will be a very special occasion for Ibrahimović, where the PSG striker will return to his second home this summer as European’s best will gather in France as the host country of the last European Championship.
Ibrahimović fully intends to be apart of the roster that head coach Erik Hamrén names in late May. If you’re a faithful Swedish supporter, you should as well. It won’t go as far as to say Sweden is a one man team. Let’s be honest, there are a few other good players too but Ibrahimović is the main piece to the puzzle. In Euro Qualifying, Ibrahimović scored an eye-popping 11 goals. The rest of the team chipped in with eight.
He is a once in a generational player, because he is playing for a country of 9 million makes the story even more extraordinary. Sweden has simply been spoiled with Ibrahimović putting on the Sweden colors for the 15th year now. The cocky things he says sometimes are likely not called for. However when you back it up on the pitch like he does, it really should give an athlete permission to say whatever he wants within reason.
Euro 2016 will likely be his swan song. France will be the perfect place to host it. Ibrahimović returns home later this week with his club team as PSG takes on Malmo FF in a UEFA Champions League Group Stage game. In June he will do the opposite returning to his second home with the national team. It will be must see TV with an event that France will be hosting patriotically given the events that happened last week.
Ibrahimović’s days on the field are surely limited. He is an extremely gifted player. Let’s enjoy it while it lasts.