Zlatan Ibrahimović is one of the most decorated players in the history of football. Since making his professional debut, Zlatan has played for eight different clubs, including both Milan clubs, Juventus, Ajax, Barcelona, PSG and, most recently, Manchester United. Now in his 21st full season, Ibra has scored 408 goals, in all competitions, from 702 appearances, and that’s now to mention his 62 international goals and 116 senior caps. Zlatan has won the league in Holland, Italy (with three different clubs), Spain and France, now he’s turning his attention to England.
There has been some speculation that Zlatan would head to the states, after all that’s what most players have done when they reach the winter of their careers, just ask David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. Remember that you’ll need to fill out an ESTA application whenever you plan on heading to America. Here we consider whether an American club is a realistic possibility for Ibrahimović.
Zlatan has never been one to stick around in one place for too long. Four years is his longest stretch, at both Ajax and PSG, so he’ll never be eligible for a testimonial. He seems like a creative individual who relishes a challenge, and once he’s achieved it he’s looking for a new one. After four years at PSG, he’d won the league every season so it was time to look for yet another new challenge. Zlatan has won the league in four different countries, if he could possibly win the English Premier League, that would make it five. So when José Mourinho took on the job of Manchester United, he knew he had a rebuilding job on his hands and invited Zlatan along for the ride. Zlatan previously played for the Special One at Milan and has often declared his admiration for the Portuguese manager. The reunion may have been made even sweeter with Pep Guardiola (who Zlatan has openly expressed his dislike for) became manager at rivals Manchester City.
You obviously need natural confidence as well as ability to succeed in professional football, and Zlatan has buckets full of both. He may well be his own biggest believer, but to be fair, it doesn’t seem to have done him any harm. Ibrahimović even claimed “I came like a king, left like a legend” in reference to his career at PSG, which are very strong words indeed. Moving to an American club is seen as a retirement project by many fans and pundits alike, especially as the MLS is still a developing league. Under their own admission, the likes of Beckham, Gerrard and Lampard were all winding down their careers when they moved stateside to play for the likes of LA Galaxy and New York City FC. Even United 32 year old teammate, Bastian Schweinsteiger could be heading to the MLS after being frozen out of the first team by Mourinho. Despite being 35 currently, Zlatan doesn’t appear to be showing any signs of winding down, he may have lost an edge of his pace but he has still scored 11 goals in 16 appearances so far for Manchester United this season. Ibrahimović has reportedly declared interest in conquering football in America (or soccer, if you like), but it may not be for a couple of years, as right now he seems focused on matters in Manchester.