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Where else is there left for Zlatan to conquer?

Pin Ibrahimovic has proved his talent almost everywhere in Europe. BeSoccer
Ibrahimovic has proved his talent almost everywhere in Europe. BeSoccer

Where else is there left for Zlatan to conquer?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has said goodbye to Manchester United and European football, swapping his sights for Hollywood and the MLS with LA Galaxy, and with it goes another forward who has marked a generation.

Zlatan is one of those players who impresses every fan on the most basic instincts of football. There are those who love him whatever his shirt. Love him for his greatness, for his unrepeatable style and for his more than 30 titles. Others hate him, cringing at his arrogance but it's hard to deny his talent.

Throughout his time on the continent, he has played for eight different clubs and at each one he has left a legacy.

It started with him as an 18-year-old at Malmo FF in Sweden, unexperienced but hungry for goals. In three years he found the back of the net 18 times from 47 appearances - his stand-out season in 2000-01, scoring at an average of a goal every 2.07 games and this attracted the interest of proven youth-club Ajax.

The Dutch outfit brought a young Ibrahimovic to the Eredivisie for the 2001-02 campaign and after a solid debut season he started producing the goods for them too. In three proper campaigns for 'De Godenzonen' he scored 48 goals in 110 games, getting his first taste for silverware with two league titles and two cup trophies.

His next stop was Italy and the Serie A where he would first try his luck with Juventus, to no avail, before switching to giants Inter in what would be his early career-defining team. After a trophyless two years with the 'Bianconeri', their rivals gave him the success he craved. Three league titles and two Italian Supercups topped off a fine spell in 'Azzurri' territory and would tee up a move to one of the biggest clubs in footballing world.

When Barcelona come calling, players rarely say no and Ibrahimovic was not part of the exception. Arriving in 2009, he spent just one season at the Camp Nou but it was enough to win La Liga as well as the Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.

It was short and sweet, with the Swede choosing to return to Italy, but with AC Milan this time, despite his links to Inter. He was prolific for the 'Rossoneri', scoring 56 goals in 85 appearances over two seasons and culminated in a Serie A and Italian Supercup double.

Ligue 1 had yet to be conquered and Zlatan decided Paris Saint-Germain was the perfect fit for him and he was right. It took just four years to become their all-time top goalscorer - before Edinson Cavani surpassed him in 2018. 156 goals in 180 games were phenomenal figures and the 12 trophies also won during that period helped to cement him as one of football's greats.

One challenge remained though: the Premier League. Despite reaching his twilight at 34, Ibrahimovic made the move to Manchester with the 'Red Devils'and although his second season was heavily impacted by injuries, his first gave a decent return of 28 goals in 46 appearances and three pieces of silverware.

Now he heads off to America and can look back on his career in Europe with pride. However, there is just one blemish on his otherwise impeccable record: he never managed to win the Champions League... 

Anna Woodberry

Anna Woodberry

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