It’s difficult to look past Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the most talented player to have never won the Champions League.
Despite representing (and scoring for) a record seven clubs in Europe’s most prestigious competition, it’s the one major honour that’s eluded him throughout his career.
To compensate, though, the Swede has won no less than 11 league titles across the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and France.
Ibrahimovic has shared the pitch with some world-class teammates over the years, but who would make his dream XI of those he’s played alongside?
Well, the veteran striker has put together such a team in his book, I am Zlatan.
GK | Gianluigi Buffon
Interestingly, Ibrahimovic has clearly scribbled out David de Gea on his list of substitutes, leaving a choice between Gianluigi Buffon and Julio Cesar.
The Italian and the former Sweden international spent two seasons together in Turin, winning both the Serie A titles of which Juve were eventually stripped for their involvement in Calciopoli.
CB | Thiago Silva
Thiago Silva arrived at Paris Saint-Germain alongside Ibrahimovic in the club’s first big-spending transfer window after their Qatari owners took over.
The pair formed part of a team spine that would lead to four consecutive Ligue 1 titles between 2012 and 2016.
CB | Alessandro Nesta
Ibrahimovic was close to unplayable at times during his two-year spell at Milan, especially after his loan spell from Barcelona was made permanent for the 2010-12 campaign.
In the previous season, the striker scored 14 goals in 29 appearances, though Alessandro Nesta also deserves huge credit for marshalling the then tightest defence in Italy.
RB | Lilian Thuram
The first of five ex-Barcelona players to make this dream team, Thuram was one of the best defenders in the world when they both called Juventus home.
While Ibrahimovic never found his best form for the Old Lady, at least he had a formidable defensive quartet of Thuram, Fabio Cannavaro, Gianluca Zambrotta and Gianluca Pessotto behind him.
LB | Maxwell
Ibrahimovic and Maxwell played together at Ajax, Inter, Barcelona and PSG, so it’s little wonder the former has a soft spot for the Brazilian.
A classy and reliable fullback, he retired in 2017 as the then most decorated active footballer in Europe with 38 honours to his name.
CDM | Xavi
Any striker would love to have Xavi orchestrating the midfield behind them, dictating play and pulling markers out of position with his incisive passing.
Xavi doesn’t get overlooked in many of his former colleagues’ all-star teams and Ibrahimovic continues the trend.
CM | Patrick Vieira
Patrick Vieira was close to being unrivalled as the most dominant midfielder of his generation.
The Frenchman shared the dressing room with Ibrahimovic at Juventus and Inter, where they were a significant influence in the side that won four league titles between 2006 and 2010.
CM | Pavel Nedved
Pavel Nedved arguably doesn’t receive just praise for the player he was over the course of 13 years at the highest level.
Although Ibrahimovic was below his best at Juve, the Czech would’ve been a wonderful player to have in support.
RW | Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi was never going to miss out.
The Argentine produced the first 30-plus goal season of his career in Ibrahimovic’s one year in Catalonia, which perhaps contributed to the many factors that saw the Swede leave.
LW | Ronaldinho
Possibly the first name on the team sheet apart from Messi, Ibrahimovic once praised Ronaldinho for ‘making his opponents look like children’.
Coming from the 37-year-old, that really says it all.
ST | Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Well, it wouldn’t be Zlatan's dream team if the man himself doesn’t make the cut, would it?
Check out the team as hand-drawn by Ibrahimovic below…
What do you make of Ibrahimovic’s choices? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.