Last night belonged to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Sweden striker marked his country’s first game in their new national stadium with not one, not two, not even three – but four goals.
Ibrahimovic opened the scoring on a famous night for Swedish football, but England’s youngsters then hit back and looked likely to take away a credible away win. Sweden’s main man had other ideas though.
His second and third goals were good and very valuable as he turned the game on its head, but the fourth was out of this world. England keeper Joe Hart came marching out and headed the ball towards Ibrahimovic. He then produced a stunning overhead kick from 30 yards and the ball flew into the net.
The fact that he even attempted this was incredible enough. The fact that it came off was even more spectacular. His celebration said it all too, beaming from ear to ear, he took in the adulation and whipped his shirt off. The PSG forward knew this was special.
People have gone crazy in reaction to this goal too with many, including Sweden coach Erik Hamren, who believe this was the greatest goal they have ever seen.
In his post-match interview, Hamren said: “I don’t know if you will see another like it in your life. Sometimes, when he’s doing these things, in training or in matches, you don’t think it’s possible.”
The man himself recognised that it was a special moment and he took a dig at English football too, hinting that they are amongst the most fickle around when it comes to a player’s reputation.
The four-goal hero said: “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.
“I remember Lionel Messi before the 2009 Champions League final for Barcelona. 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.”
Ibrahimovic’s arrogance – or self belief if you want to be less harsh – is definitely clear to see, but so is his unbelievable talent. He has been one of the most dangerous strikers in world football for many years now and his success at a number of high-profile clubs said it all.
The aftermath has been dominated by ‘that’ fourth goal, but for England it will be disappointing to have thrown away a 2-1 lead. Last night wasn’t about them, but defensively they were poor in the final 20 minutes or so.
This won’t be remembered as the night England gave up a 2-1 lead though. Instead, it is the night that Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored one of the greatest goals of all time.