Football

Zlatan Ibrahimovic deserves a Champions League medal

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I don't think there is a football fan on this planet who doesn't admire Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The man is a legend, not just for his exceptional goal tally, but for his attitude and class. He has a certain cult-hero swagger that not many people in football possess.

But after a fifteen year career the Swede still hasn't got the prize he craves - the UEFA Champions League, and at 32 time is rapidly running out.

The fact is though, Zlatan deserves one. His record with top European clubs is quite extraordinary, and since his days at Malmo FF back in 1999 he has been knocking in goals for fun.

Starting his career in Sweden, Ibrahimovic moved onto Ajax in 2001 where his career really kick started.

When he joined the Dutch team, their last Champions League was 6 years before, and they weren't looking like winning it again any time soon, the furthest they got during his time were the quarter finals. Nonetheless, Zlatan hit 35 goals in 74 games during his 3 years there, and big clubs latched on to his presence.

In August 2014, Juventus swooped in and took Ibra to Turin for €16 million, a huge sum of money back then. In two years at Juventus he scored 23 goals in 70 appearances but the Italian side never pushed for European honours, falling to Arsenal in his second season.

After an investigation into a match fixing scandal, Juventus were relegated to Serie B and Zlatan, like many others, moved on.

A €24.8 million move to fellow Italians Inter Milan followed, a place Ibrahimovic blossomed. He stayed at Inter for three years and produced an excellent goal return. In his time there he played 88 games and hit a whopping 57 goals, one less than he scored at his two previous clubs put together in just over half the games. It seemed Ibra had found his home at Inter, but it wasn't to be.

In 2009 he traded Italy for Spain, joining Champions League holders Barcelona for €46 million and Samuel Eto'o. Perhaps a move he would later regret in his career, as the 2009-10 season saw Inter Milan crowned European champions. Heartbreak for Ibrahimovic.

One season at Barcelona seemed enough for the Swedish forward after his relationship with Pep Guardiola detiorated fast, and after a 16 goal season he was loaned out to AC Milan.

A 2010 return to Italy saw a return of 14 goals from 29 games for Zlatan. Not bad, but not anywhere near his lofty expectations. His season on loan at AC Milan saw Barcelona win the Champions League again, a cruel trick on Ibrahimovic. He had spent his one season at Barca between the seasons they conquered Europe.

AC Milan met a  €24 million clause to buy him and reaped the rewards the next season. The confident, ruthless forward hit the net 28 times in 32 games - an brilliant goal return.

Though Italy seemed his true home for now, PSG came in with a €20 million bid and just like that, Zlatan was on the move yet again - this time to France.

64 games so far for Ibrahimovic has brought an incredible 55 goals - his best goal to game ratio at any club he has ever been at.

Mega rich PSG have stated their desire to win the European Cup on several occasions and Ibrahimovic looks just as hungry as ever. But with the Paris club's recent acquisition of Edinson Cavani, just how long will the 32 year old be the star striker? Besides, PSG still have a few seasons of team building to do before they can challenge on a continental scale, and with the Swede's moving record there is a big chance he may have moved on before that is completed.

An illustrious career has brought Ibra goals galore and a host of titles domestically in Spain, Italy, France and Holland, as well as a combined 180 million euros in transfer fees, but one jewel is missing from Zlatan's crown.

Looking on many fans acknowledge he should have the chance to win the big eared cup and I really hope that he does. Being so close on several occasions and seeing old clubs lift it is horrible but above all, 'The Zlat' needs it.


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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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