How good was Zlatan?

11101

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He was tier 2. I'd consider Muller, Suarez and Lewandowski the same. They were the best of the generation but there has not been any real generational talents in that position for a while, not since Messi and Ronaldo rolled all the forward positions into one.
 

VorZakone

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Zlatan was amazing but his lack of CL success hurts his reputation IMO. For a career as long as his, to not have 1 CL win is a bit damning.

He was a monster in domestic leagues but a bit underwhelming in the CL. What's even his defining CL performance? Lewa has that game against Real in 2013 for example.
 

fps

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Zlatan was absolutely incredible. He is hurt for being around at the same time as Messi and Ronaldo, frankly, because as a centre forward he was unique, but of the same level as, Batistuta, Shearer and any other top number 9 you can think of. No CL is an incredible stat, but he won wherever he went. Shame he went to PSG, that was the time to go to the PL.
 

André Dominguez

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A player success should not only be measured by UCL titles. One of Portugal greatest players ever, João Vieira Pinto, barely won domestic titles, let alone european titles. But he was an amazing player, despite being a bit of a c*nt as a person.
 

charlenefan

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Remember when no one in England rated him because he never scored against English sides in the UCL? :lol:

I think in terms of his longevity he has to be up there and only behind Messi and Ronaldo. Wiki says his total club goals currently stands at 459, that's tons more than players like Van Nistelrooy, Henry and Van Persie who at their peak were probably considered the best in the world (RVP less so)
 

Tom Cato

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Messi and Ronaldo inhabit the tier 1 position alone. There is no comparing anyone else on the planet to them. Neymar could have come close, but his move to PSG and series of injuries have ruind that.

Zlatan is among the forefront of tier 2 players. Near generational, exceptional player in his prime. Generational attitude though, fortunately for him he's always been able to follow up his talk with action.

I won't fault him for not winning the CL since it's a team effort, not a individual performance.
 

0le

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He is one of the best players ever for me, because he could score goals like no other individual can on a regular basis.
 

Jacob

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Can't compare lions with humans. He is one of a kind.

In terms of entertainment, he is probably the best. His taekwando skills make him distinct in a good way.
 

Inigo Montoya

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Zlatan was absolutely incredible. He is hurt for being around at the same time as Messi and Ronaldo, frankly, because as a centre forward he was unique, but of the same level as, Batistuta, Shearer and any other top number 9 you can think of. No CL is an incredible stat, but he won wherever he went. Shame he went to PSG, that was the time to go to the PL.
He is one of the best players ever for me, because he could score goals like no other individual can on a regular basis.
Can't compare lions with humans. He is one of a kind.

In terms of entertainment, he is probably the best. His taekwando skills make him distinct in a good way.
All the above. Wish we'd got him even 3 years earlier as he was just a little below the physical level to compete in the PL.

The suggestion that his lack of success in the UCL somehow tarnishes his stature is quite frankly, absurd
 

DoomSlayer

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Incredibly unique player and add the personality to it, you have an amazing striker. I think he would have fitted like a glove to any Sir Alex team, the gaffer would have propelled his status close to the one of Messi and Ronaldo.
 

harms

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The most talented striker of his generation, but, in the end, not the best one. I hate Suarez with all my heart, but I think it’s fair to say that he is the standout, who had performed magnificently in multiple leagues, CL and international football and was a proper big-game player.

Zlatan’s peak came surprisingly late, when he embraced his playmaking side while still scoring at the insane rate. But PSG failed to achieve anything of note in Europe and all he got was a bunch of French league titles.

He was incredibly unlucky that his move to Barca didn’t work out - he had performed at a great level for them but when Messi was moved centrally, there was simply no place for him (and then there was the mentality clash, but maybe he would’ve been less angry if he had a starting spot).

I’d put him in a huge second tier that includes van Persie, Rooney, Lewandowski, Agüero, all of whom had different issues that stopped them from becoming the best.
 

harms

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The fact that he scored more goals after turning 30 than before that is one of the weirdest and most incredible football stats that I’ve heard.
 

DoomSlayer

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The most talented striker of his generation, but, in the end, not the best one. I hate Suarez with all my heart, but I think it’s fair to say that he is the standout, who had performed magnificently in multiple leagues, CL and international football and was a proper big-game player.

Zlatan’s peak came surprisingly late, when he embraced his playmaking side while still scoring at the insane rate. But PSG failed to achieve anything of note in Europe and all he got was a bunch of French league titles.

He was incredibly unlucky that his move to Barca didn’t work out - he had performed at a great level for them but when Messi was moved centrally, there was simply no place for him (and then there was the mentality clash, but maybe he would’ve been less angry if he had a starting spot).

I’d put him in a huge second tier that includes van Persie, Rooney, Lewandowski, Agüero, all of whom had different issues that stopped them from becoming the best.
Rooney was never a pure striker in style so it's very unfair to compare him to the others you mentioned based on stats. His contribution in assists is just as massive as his goals, not to mention the work he had to put in the build-up play and his absolutely insane defensive workrate for most of his career at our club.

If we go on achievements, Rooney is tier 1, if we go on peak ability, again the same result. I'd say the same for Ibra, although the CL failures do put a bit of a dent in his CV.
 

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I don't think he's in the top 5 of his generation. Would have Messi, Cristiano, Robben, Iniesta, Xavi definitely ahead of him. Not so sure about Ribery, Pirlo, Rooney and the likes.
 

Inigo Montoya

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I don't think he's in the top 5 of his generation. Would have Messi, Cristiano, Robben, Iniesta, Xavi definitely ahead of him. Not so sure about Ribery, Pirlo, Rooney and the likes.
Robben? :lol:

I know it's subjective but ....

The others tended to be one club players so could establish a lasting legacy and an immortality if you like. The fact that he moved around so much seems to be a factor is precluding him among the greatest of his generation
 

Monadi

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He’s nowhere close to Messi and Ronaldo. He’s only eclipsed 30 goals once outside of Ligue 1. While Messi and Ronaldo are scoring 50+ goals for years on end, Zlatan’s bests were 35 with Milan and 28 with Inter, respectively. I’d rank the likes of RvN, RvP, Eto’o, Henry, and Suarez ahead of him.

IMO, he came well short at the highest level, his time at Barca. I won’t forget the game vs Arsenal in the CL where he missed several sitters and Messi was eventually kind enough to offer him a PK.
 
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AshRK

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I seriously wished we had signed him from AC Milan or even after his Barca stint. He and sir alex would have been a deadly combo. He would have been a perfect leader after sir alex went. Missed opportunity.
 

nokillingmoths

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Zlatan was amazing but his lack of CL success hurts his reputation IMO. For a career as long as his, to not have 1 CL win is a bit damning.

He was a monster in domestic leagues but a bit underwhelming in the CL. What's even his defining CL performance? Lewa has that game against Real in 2013 for example.
Ronaldo never won the cl and he was one of thr best strikers of all time. He did win the world cup to be fair.
 

Kag

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The fact that he scored more goals after turning 30 than before that is one of the weirdest and most incredible football stats that I’ve heard.
It is until you factor in playing for a state-funded PSG for a large chunk of his career.

Zlatan was a brilliant striker, but he never truly dominated at a top club in Europe. There’s a feeling, for me, of what if? Why didn’t he win Champions League titles up top for a Madrid, a Barcelona, a Bayern or a Juventus? Bad timing, perhaps, but maybe he just wasn’t that good. I’m not sure myself, really.

There’s something a little empty about Zlatan that I can’t put my finger on. Aguero, in spite of his obvious brilliance, gives me the same feeling (even though he will always be a City legend...). Could they have been something more? Won more?

Now, bring on the criticism, as I’m not expecting this viewpoint to be popular.
 

Edgar Allan Pillow

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The most talented striker of his generation, but, in the end, not the best one. I hate Suarez with all my heart, but I think it’s fair to say that he is the standout, who had performed magnificently in multiple leagues, CL and international football and was a proper big-game player.
Honestly I rate him above Suarez. It was just positionally Suarez was easier to fit into most team than Zlatan. As you say, Messi/Barca ruined it for him and PSG was a feck-all club to spend your career in.
 

Br1_ovi

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In the big games in the CL he doesn't deliver because, even if he is good technically, his football-brain is not very good IMO. He doesnt have the football-brain of the greatest 9s like Aguero, Suarez or Kane.
 

Lynty

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He carried his peak form very late into his career, which puts him among the best.

But for me, peak Rooney, Drogba, Suarez, Augero and Lewandowski were better players.
 

Inigo Montoya

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In the big games in the CL he doesn't deliver because, even if he is good technically, his football-brain is not very good IMO. He doesnt have the football-brain of the greatest 9s like Aguero, Suarez or Kane.
When Kane reaches his stats, I'll agree with you.

The other two are built differently though. For a 6'3/6'4 forward he was so agile
 

Zehner

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Robben? :lol:

I know it's subjective but ....

The others tended to be one club players so could establish a lasting legacy and an immortality if you like. The fact that he moved around so much seems to be a factor is precluding him among the greatest of his generation
Prime Robben was the closest thing to Messi and Cristiano that generation has produced. Downright unplayable between 2010 and 2014. Zlatan was never on that level, IMO.
 

Classical Mechanic

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It is until you factor in playing for a state-funded PSG for a large chunk of his career.
Indeed. His goal output halved from his last season in France to playing for United in the Premier League. He had one season with Inter and one with Milan where he really had a top level scoring record in a top league.
 

Gio

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Discounting the big two, I'd place him second to Suarez amongst centre-forwards of the last decade or so. Aside from those three, I think just about every top striker has some blemish on their CV.
 

DWelbz19

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It is until you factor in playing for a state-funded PSG for a large chunk of his career.

Zlatan was a brilliant striker, but he never truly dominated at a top club in Europe. There’s a feeling, for me, of what if? Why didn’t he win Champions League titles up top for a Madrid, a Barcelona, a Bayern or a Juventus? Bad timing, perhaps, but maybe he just wasn’t that good. I’m not sure myself, really.

There’s something a little empty about Zlatan that I can’t put my finger on. Aguero, in spite of his obvious brilliance, gives me the same feeling (even though he will always be a City legend...). Could they have been something more? Won more?

Now, bring on the criticism, as I’m not expecting this viewpoint to be popular.
I sort of agree with this. Especially with the Aguero comparison. I mean he [Aguero] has a good CL record; and even his record for Argentina isn't too shabby, but you just feel like something is missing... Like, he's never taken those competitions by storm?

Likewise with Zlatan.

Once thing that I will say about Zlatan and age though; he joined a pretty dysfunctional Jose Mourinho United side at the age of 35 and scored 17 goals in 28 PL matches. That's pretty good going.
 

Von Mistelroum

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Honestly, on his day the only player I'd put on par is Ronaldo (Brazilian ) he's my favourite ever player though so I may be biased .
 

RedDevilRoshi

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Not many players, in fact hardly any will have a better cv than his.

He was an incredible player. Not just a goalscorer but a leader as well. Someone that just oozed confidence and not only did he love to talk, he matched it on the pitch.
 

Witchking

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Nothing great in my opinion. Prior to united I saw only highlights and games against united where he seemed ok. When he came to United, i was more frustrated to see the amount of chances he missed and how slow he was.

Based on the small screen time I have seen of him, I would want rvn, Henry, shearer ahead of him even in his peak years.
 

Sterling Archer

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Nothing great in my opinion. Prior to united I saw only highlights and games against united where he seemed ok. When he came to United, i was more frustrated to see the amount of chances he missed and how slow he was.

Based on the small screen time I have seen of him, I would want rvn, Henry, shearer ahead of him even in his peak years.
Zlatan could have been a great. He had everything but maturity. I think his ego held him back tremendously in the peak of his career between Juve and Barcelona. Going to PSG was another misstep for me. At United under Jose you saw what he could do, but it was definitely a harder shift than what he was putting in over in France. Shame he couldn't take that challenge earlier.
 

Josh 76

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Nothing great in my opinion. Prior to united I saw only highlights and games against united where he seemed ok. When he came to United, i was more frustrated to see the amount of chances he missed and how slow he was.

Based on the small screen time I have seen of him, I would want rvn, Henry, shearer ahead of him even in his peak years.
I agree with you to a certain extent. In his prime he was never a player that I wanted us to sign.
But you cant really judge him on his time here. A player well past his best.
 

Zehner

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It is until you factor in playing for a state-funded PSG for a large chunk of his career.

Zlatan was a brilliant striker, but he never truly dominated at a top club in Europe. There’s a feeling, for me, of what if? Why didn’t he win Champions League titles up top for a Madrid, a Barcelona, a Bayern or a Juventus? Bad timing, perhaps, but maybe he just wasn’t that good. I’m not sure myself, really.

There’s something a little empty about Zlatan that I can’t put my finger on. Aguero, in spite of his obvious brilliance, gives me the same feeling (even though he will always be a City legend...). Could they have been something more? Won more?

Now, bring on the criticism, as I’m not expecting this viewpoint to be popular.
That's pretty much it. Ibrahimovic was more popular than Neymar obviously but in the end his time at PSG is equally meaningless. He was probably at his best when he was still at Inter. That was the time he looked closest to becoming a Ballon d'Or winner. There was also a time when he tore everything apart at Milan but the league already seemed like a retirement home back then and he was playing in a team filled with former top stars the absolute elite didn't want anymore (Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Robinho, Gattuso, Pirlo, ...). Zlatan effectively seemed semi-retired ever since he left Barca.