Sweden captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic has said he wants to be held in the same regard as Lionel Messi following his astonishing performance against England.
The PSG striker scored all four goals in the host’s 4-2 victory over the Three Lions, but it was the last of the four that really took the headlines – a 30-yard overhead kick volley from an angle.
It has been described as one of the best goals ever and Ibrahimovic hoped it went some way to change how he is viewed in the English press, where his brilliance has failed to penetrate fully due to subdued performances in the Champions League against Premier League sides.
The 31-year-old said Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi was treated with similar distrust until he finally put on a sparkling performance against Manchester United.
“That’s the way it is with the English. If you score against them you’re a good player, if you don’t score against them you’re not a good player,” he said after the game.
“I remember Lionel Messi before the 2009 Champions League Final. Then he scored against Manchester United and suddenly he was the best player in the world.
“Maybe now they’ll say something like that about me.”
Whether this is true or not is another matter, but it is clear that his reputation in England is an issue that Ibrahimovic still feels annoyed about.
It is hard to understand why, as Ibrahimovic’s goal record around Europe is fantastic and, before last season, he won the domestic championship he was in eight seasons in a row.
Now English fans and journalists have had a closer look at Ibrahimovic at his best, there can be no more doubt over his quality.