The strange case of Zlatan Ibrahimovic

July 13, 2009

Inter Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the ultimate soccer enigma.

He scores goals for fun when playing Bologna, Chievo and Palermo but often goes missing against AC Milan, Manchester United or Liverpool (which is why he is never in the running for the top awards despite the incredulity of Inter fans).

The tall-yet-skilful attacker has been racking up Serie A titles but the Champions League seems a distant prospect and with all due respect to Sweden, he is not likely to win any honours in international football.

If you want someone to outrageously chip the keeper, Ibra is your man, but don’t expect him to always score that tap-in.

Judging how much these sorts of players (Antonio Cassano? Dimitar Berbatov?) are worth is very tricky, especially after he admitted at the end of last season that he fancied a new challenge.

Inter president Massimo Moratti slapped a 70 million euro price on his head which scared off Barcelona and Real Madrid. If Kaka cost 67, can Ibra really be worth more?

Without a bid forthcoming, the forward returned to pre-season training with Inter last week saying he was “happy”. Moratti then said the player was off the market.

Now English newspapers say Manchester United and Chelsea have come sniffing. Chelsea’s reported offer would be 50 million plus Deco and Ricardo Carvalho, two players Inter coach Jose Mourinho wants.

A move is suddenly back on the table but like everything with Ibrahimovic, any transfer is bound to be complicated, especially as he has just jetted off on a U.S. tour with Inter.

What’s your bet on where Ibra will end up? I reckon he’ll still be at the San Siro come September…

PHOTO: Inter Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring against Lazio in their Italian Serie A soccer match at San Siro stadium in Milan, May 2, 2009. REUTERS/Stefan Rellandini

15 comments

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this guy is good in the italian league but in the champions league its another matter he has never scoredagainst any english club in the last 8 of the champs league!!i dont think he is prem material he is too lazy and to slowhe reminds me of a poor berbatov

He did well at Ajax and Inter, he’s a talented player but not in the same league as Kaka, 70 million is way too much, these amounts are killing soccer.

He scores goals against A.C Milan… what kind of journalism is this he always delivers against the big and small teams in the league and in the group stages of the UEFA CL.The question raised should have been the KO stages of the CL where he hasn’t scored a goal that’s different to not performing what so ever. Like your trying to claim.And next season he will silence his ignorant critics

I think most Inter fans would say he is not quite at his best against Milan and Juve. He didnt score against either of them last season or the season before

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

[...] to Source add it: Tags: ac milan, antonio cassano, Bologna, CHELSEA, chievo, dimitar berbatov, english [...]

Most inter fans would disagree with you Mark. He assisted in both those games be it he didn’t score he was still the central attacking and creative outlet for the team. He shoulders all the responsibility and takes all the blame even if the team wasn’t up to par and he was… Unfair really but when you are without doubt one of the best 3 players in the World I guess you have to take it.

steffano i didnt say he doesnt perform but he performs when he wants tooand if you look at the top of this page it saiz he has neverscored in the last 8 of the champs league {knockout stages}

you say he performs against ac milan? like thats a good club?most of there players are past it ronaldinho=crapinzaghi=too oldmadini=too old = a granny with a zimmer frame could score against ac milanthe italian league is not the same as it used to be

Steffano, what planet are you on? By all means be a big fan but to rate him “without a doubt” to be in the top 3 best players in the world your dreaming. We seem to have a similar thing with a plyer in scotland, Kris Boyd, who plays for Glasgow Rangers he scores goals for fun (top scorer in scotland 08/09 season) in the league but when it comes to bigger games, ie: celtic games and in europe he seems to struggle. I’m a big fan of him but i hardly rate him in the top 3 in the world!!

Posted by melville | Report as abusive

Get your fact right: he has been performing and scoring (only never scored v Juve) against every big team in Italy including ACMilan, Roma, Fiorentina, Lazio etc.. and in every decisive game.Reason he has not been as good in Europe may have something to do with the fact that all Inter has been rubbish too outside Italy!!!

Posted by Manu | Report as abusive

I never said he wasnt strong against Roma and Fiorentina, I only mentioned Milan, Man Utd and Liverpool as recent examples of him not always performing at the highest level.He hasnt scored against Milan for the past two seasons but he did some good creative work. Dont get me wrong, he is now easily the best player in Serie A after Kaka’s departure and he is often wonderful to watch but at the moment no one is willing to pay a Kaka-like fee for his services.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

If that goal Against Italy in Euro 2004 doesn’t count then the writer should get a new job. What I like most is How the guy celebrates his works of Art, …Did you see that..? Much better than Ronaldo’s and Henry’s Feigned indifference, quite refreshing. Sadly he nneds a flair coach like Guardiola or Fergie (god forbid a Kopite saying that) But surel;y not Mourinho

Posted by njau | Report as abusive

he is over rated if you ask me, he wouldnt make it in the english premiership which has to be the best testbetting odds.

well u must really regret this now????? ibra is king of the hill

Posted by staalkloo | Report as abusive

He has certainly made a better start at Barca than many imagined, Staalkloo, but he still has to prove his worth on the European stage.We’ve written lots of blogs on Ibrahimovic since this one, use the search function in the top right.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

to Source add it: Tags: ac milan, antonio cassano, Bologna, CHELSEA, chievo, dimitar berbatov, english
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Posted by benkaka89 | Report as abusive