How good was Zlatan?

Bondi77

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I only watched him play for us and he did okay.
 

Mickson

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I think it's a Man Utd argument because I've never seen any other fans use it. The argument that you can't be the best, or world-class, or whatever if your team doesn't reach for example the CL final. That's always the argument. Especially in the Paul Scholes-discussion. "But his team won the CL!" I wouldn't say it's fully irrelevant, but it's not the most important thing when judging an individual player. Football is a team game, and as an individual, it's very, very hard to have that power over a team or even a game. I think that Zlatan is absolutely one of the best and actually had that effect on his teams. Even in his later years, he came to United - and a new league in another country - and absolutely tore it apart. His influence on the team and the whole squad in winning was massive. I remember players like Lingard talking about that. He was not only a great player but also a character that made his team win.
 

Abe144

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Are you people for real ?! :houllier::confused:

Zlatan is among the top 5 strikers in history, top 10 in the worst case scenario.
He killed it whereever he went. He adapted with ease and scored tons of goals.

Ronaldo Fenomeno and Van Basten are the top 2 strikers in history.
The other 8 that compose the top 10 are, in no particular order:
Zlatan
T. Henry
Batistuta
Romario
Weah
Drogba
Van Nistelroy
Raul

And before some of you will jump on me for not including the likes of Pele, CR7, Messi, etc, I'd like to remind you that they are forwards.

Eto'o was better for club and country as was Suarez. Drogba was good but inferior to tons of other strikers in the history of the game
 

Idxomer

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He's great for underachieving teams like Milan at the start of the last decade and PSG soon afterward.

Otherwise, almost every league title he won was a foregone conclusion for his team. Also one CL semifinal in his career is poor output whichever way you put it. Most of the great forwards from his time were able to do better and affect the later CL stages in a greater style. It would've been interesting to see him in United after Ronaldo leaving but I'm not sure how well he and Rooney would've worked together.
 

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Flat track bully. Always played for the top team in the league and was rubbish in the CL.

That goal against NAC was class though. :wenger:
 

Skills

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Yup, him too. And Ribery. Outside of top 5, there are probably around 10 or so players who you can put in any order.
Robbens in that top 5 - definitely ahead of Lewandowski.
 

el3mel

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He's great for underachieving teams like Milan at the start of the last decade and PSG soon afterward.

Otherwise, almost every league title he won was a foregone conclusion for his team. Also one CL semifinal in his career is poor output whichever way you put it. Most of the great forwards from his time were able to do better and affect the later CL stages in a greater style. It would've been interesting to see him in United after Ronaldo leaving but I'm not sure how well he and Rooney would've worked together.
I didn't know a player reach CL semifinal or final on their own.

He played for top clubs across Europe and in the best league and has crazy number in each league, and won trophies in every country. At this point the CL argument ceases to become important and just becomes a point of having bad luck. It's like blaming Buffon or Brazilian Ronaldo for never winning it.
 

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He’s absolutely world class. Love him as a player and as a personality.
One of the worst personalities in football, funny though he did not carry the same reputation as others even though he is nastier and more arrogant.

Well until now.
 

el3mel

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One of the worst personalities in football, funny though he did not carry the same reputation as others even though he is nastier and more arrogant.

Well until now.
He's not arrogant. He says these quotes as jokes. He's definitely one the best personalities in football. I don't even know to be honest how can some hate these kinds of personalities like Zlatan (or even Mourinho as we are in it). They are pricks but they are funny pricks. They make football more fun and less bland and dull.
 

Idxomer

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I didn't know a player reach CL semifinal or final on their own.

He played for top clubs across Europe and in the best league and has crazy number in each league, and won trophies in every country. At this point the CL argument ceases to become important and just becomes a point of having bad luck. It's like blaming Buffon or Brazilian Ronaldo for never winning it.
Luck is coming close and failing to go over the line a couple of times like Buffon. Ronaldo is another case entirely and even after being away for about 2 years because of injuries, he came back and was better and more influential than Ibra ever was.

Ibra at his peak usually gave himself the best chance to succeed at the CL like when he went to Barcelona. He was also the main man in Inter and PSG for seven seasons, both were great teams and the best in their league by a country mile, and he never came close to the line. If he was that great and the best after Ronaldo and Messi like we're told, surely he would be able to tip the scale in his teams favor once or twice in his very long career.

It's not like he always performed great and was let down by his team, more often than not he was part of the problem in those CL knockout games. He was a great player and did very well getting that league title for Milan, however, most of his trophies aren't as impressive and his failures in the CL point toward certain limitations he brought at the biggest stage.
 

amolbhatia50k

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Always found him overrated. His longevity is praise worthy but in general he's rated higher than he should be. Because "character".
 

el3mel

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Luck is coming close and failing to go over the line a couple of times like Buffon. Ronaldo is another case entirely and even after being away for about 2 years because of injuries, he came back and was better and more influential than Ibra ever was.

Ibra at his peak usually gave himself the best chance to succeed at the CL like when he went to Barcelona. He was also the main man in Inter and PSG for seven seasons, both were great teams and the best in their league by a country mile, and he never came close to the line. If he was that great and the best after Ronaldo and Messi like we're told, surely he would be able to tip the scale in his teams favor once or twice in his very long career.

It's not like he always performed great and was let down by his team, more often than not he was part of the problem in those CL knockout games. He was a great player and did very well getting that league title for Milan, however, most of his trophies aren't as impressive and his failures in the CL point toward certain limitations he brought at the biggest stage.
Not really, even Messi himself showed several times as great as he's, he can't simply lead a team on his own to CL glory and witnessed his team embarrassingly losing to Roma and Liverpool 2 years in a row. Ronaldo, as great as he's, hasn't made Juve a CL winner so far, and witnessed them getting KOed by Ajax last year and having a mediocre campaign in the current one, even though it's mostly the same Juve who reached final twice in the last few years. Even in Real Madrid, it took him 5 years to start winning CLs there, and his first season there they got KOed by Lyon in 16th round, didn't miraculously turn them to a CL winner out of the bat.

Winning CL isn't as easy a top player will suddenly make a difference. It needs a lot of factors together and in case of Zlatan it was just pure luck. The way his Barca side lost against Inter was repeated again two years later against Chelsea. His PSG side are still bottling it in CL after he left several years now. It's not like he was their problem.
 

OL29

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I think he has a decent shot at being the third best attacker of his generation. In all honesty, it is between him, Suarez and Lewandowski (Aguero, Neymar, RVP, Rooney and possibly Villa/Muller/Cavani to complete the top 10).
The interesting thing about Ibrahimovic, if I’m not mistaken, he’s closer in age to the likes of Henry, R9, RVN, Etoo and Shevchenko than Suarez and Lewandowski, which demonstrates his incredible longevity. I do think when compared to that generation of strikers, he has less of an argument of being the best.
 

Glorio

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Luck is coming close and failing to go over the line a couple of times like Buffon. Ronaldo is another case entirely and even after being away for about 2 years because of injuries, he came back and was better and more influential than Ibra ever was.

Ibra at his peak usually gave himself the best chance to succeed at the CL like when he went to Barcelona. He was also the main man in Inter and PSG for seven seasons, both were great teams and the best in their league by a country mile, and he never came close to the line. If he was that great and the best after Ronaldo and Messi like we're told, surely he would be able to tip the scale in his teams favor once or twice in his very long career.

It's not like he always performed great and was let down by his team, more often than not he was part of the problem in those CL knockout games. He was a great player and did very well getting that league title for Milan, however, most of his trophies aren't as impressive and his failures in the CL point toward certain limitations he brought at the biggest stage.
This isn't basketball! It's like saying Messi is substandard because he hasn't led Argentina to the world cup. Or aasuming that if he was in Arsenal, he would dragged them to win the champions league a couple of times. Football is not a one man game, particularly for forwards who rely on their teams to create chances.

It's not like Messi has found it easy to win the CL without the likes of Xavi and Iniesta, or like Ronaldo has magically helped Juve win it either.

I'm not saying Zlatan is at the level of Messi or Ronaldo, and personally, behind those two I rate Henry as next in terms of how ridiculous an influence he had in games, however, Zlatan is 100% world class
 

The United

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He is better in entertaining than playing football. Not that his footballing ability is bad. It is just not in the top tier.
 

Idxomer

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Not really, even Messi himself showed several times as great as he's, he can't simply lead a team on his own to CL glory and witnessed his team embarrassingly losing to Roma and Liverpool 2 years in a row. Ronaldo, as great as he's, hasn't made Juve a CL winner so far, and witnessed them getting KOed by Ajax last year and having a mediocre campaign in the current one, even though it's mostly the same Juve who reached final twice in the last few years. Even in Real Madrid, it took him 5 years to start winning CLs there, and his first season there they got KOed by Lyon in 16th round, didn't miraculously turn them to a CL winner out of the bat.

Winning CL isn't as easy a top player will suddenly make a difference. It needs a lot of factors together and in case of Zlatan it was just pure luck. The way his Barca side lost against Inter was repeated again two years later against Chelsea. His PSG side are still bottling it in CL after he left several years now. It's not like he was their problem.
We're talking about a very long career not 5 years or so, not everything can be down to pure luck. Those examples you gave are for unstable teams or ones who needed a massive rebuild or sometimes luck, that's going to happen at one time or another for any player. Of course, the nature of cups means that Messi and Ronaldo aren't going to be in the finals every year though at one period that was pretty much a reality. They still had some great displays even in those years.

I'm not even talking about winning it. Ibra's teams always faltered in the CL latter stages, and he doesn't have many performances you could point towards to prove that it was always down to luck and he wasn't part of the problem. He was easily contained most of the time in those games. I mean if Henry for example never went to Barcelona and won it, he would still have 2006 campaign where he showed his best in the CL when it mattered most and led his team to a final. It's a blemish in Ibra's career not because he hasn't won it but he was never able to make the difference and leads his team to better results and that's what the very best do.
 

TrustInJanuzaj

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One of the worst personalities in football, funny though he did not carry the same reputation as others even though he is nastier and more arrogant.

Well until now.
What a load of rubbish. Zlatan plays to a media personality and sure he’s confident, even arrogant at times but he backs that up so who cares. He’s so much more interesting than some big standard player. Off the pitch, he’s a model professional which can be seen by the fact he’s still performing at the top level at the age of 39. That takes unbelievable dedication to the sport and to his conditioning. What makes you say he’s not a good personality?
 
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He is better in entertaining than playing football. Not that his footballing ability is bad. It is just not in the top tier.
Not top tier? Take away Messi and Ronaldo and his record is fantastic. He perhaps hasn’t had the standout seasons like fat Ronaldo but to be doing it for so long is incredible.
 

Bebestation

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Zlatan was my favourite player in world football during his first seasons at Milan.

However, the more I studied him and in particular, his certain personality - I found that it made him progress as a player as well as it eventually held him back.

He had this ego that I found heavily annoying, he was better than his team mates and his team was only ever going to be good as Zlatan was that day; be that at PSG, United, Milan or whoever it was.

He was heavily talented as a skillful individual player scoring goals after wonder goals - but he couldn't just be there as a player following a tactic within a team of 11, pulling out the last bits of gas when the team needed it the most.

Something was missing in him as much as it was over the top with his extravagant style and ability.

Went down to a player I didnt like that much and especially in the modern day was a player who was more a single striker traditional number 9 who has the team built around them to take the few chances as the main tactic like we did with RVN - but would never work aswell in a team as players like Messi's, Rooney's, Ronaldos, Ribery and Robbens did.

A fantastic youtube player.
 

lenny_1248

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Always thought he was "the most overrated world-class player" in the past 15/20 years.
 

el3mel

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We're talking about a very long career not 5 years or so, not everything can be down to pure luck. Those examples you gave are for unstable teams or ones who needed a massive rebuild or sometimes luck, that's going to happen at one time or another for any player. Of course, the nature of cups means that Messi and Ronaldo aren't going to be in the finals every year though at one period that was pretty much a reality. They still had some great displays even in those years.

I'm not even talking about winning it. Ibra's teams always faltered in the CL latter stages, and he doesn't have many performances you could point towards to prove that it was always down to luck and he wasn't part of the problem. He was easily contained most of the time in those games. I mean if Henry for example never went to Barcelona and won it, he would still have 2006 campaign where he showed his best in the CL when it mattered most and led his team to a final. It's a blemish in Ibra's career not because he hasn't won it but he was never able to make the difference and leads his team to better results and that's what the very best do.
This is the problem I'm talking about. His teams didn't flop in CL due to him to label them "Ibra's teams". It's not like he was the reason that hindered them in the competition. It doesn't work like that for any player not just Zlatan that's all.
 

Idxomer

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This isn't basketball! It's like saying Messi is substandard because he hasn't led Argentina to the world cup. Or aasuming that if he was in Arsenal, he would dragged them to win the champions league a couple of times. Football is not a one man game, particularly for forwards who rely on their teams to create chances.

It's not like Messi has found it easy to win the CL without the likes of Xavi and Iniesta, or like Ronaldo has magically helped Juve win it either.

I'm not saying Zlatan is at the level of Messi or Ronaldo, and personally, behind those two I rate Henry as next in terms of how ridiculous an influence he had in games, however, Zlatan is 100% world class
Messi reached a WC final in 3 attempts, that's not bad considering all the problems with the Argentinian setup. Ibra has one semi-final with arguably the greatest team ever in 13 attempts with barely any great performances in the knockout stages, that's simply not good enough.

I think he was world-class but I also believe he would never be a functional part of a team that's considered the best in the world.
 
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Idxomer

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Zlatan was my favourite player in world football during his first seasons at Milan.

However, the more I studied him and in particular, his certain personality - I found that it made him progress as a player as well as it eventually held him back.

He had this ego that I found heavily annoying, he was better than his team mates and his team was only ever going to be good as Zlatan was that day; be that at PSG, United, Milan or whoever it was.

He was heavily talented as a skillful individual player scoring goals after wonder goals - but he couldn't just be there as a player following a tactic within a team of 11, pulling out the last bits of gas when the team needed it the most.

Something was missing in him as much as it was over the top with his extravagant style and ability.

Went down to a player I didnt like that much and especially in the modern day was a player who was more a single striker traditional number 9 who has the team built around them to take the few chances as the main tactic like we did with RVN - but would never work aswell in a team as players like Messi's, Rooney's, Ronaldos, Ribery and Robbens did.

A fantastic youtube player.
Perfect assessment of him as a player and the reason he failed at Barca and Inter won the CL with Milito and Eto'o right after he had left. That wasn't luck, he brought imbalance to his teams in certain games where every small part matters.
 

el3mel

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Perfect assessment of him as a player and the reason he failed at Barca and Inter won the CL with Milito and Eto'o right after he had left. That wasn't luck, he brought imbalance to his teams in certain games where every small part matters.
He scored 5 goals in 7 matches in 2008 CL with Inter. In next year, they got KOed in 16th round to a much, much better Manchester United side that were the champions and pretty much best or second best team in the world at this time.

Zlatan leaving in the 2009 summer wasn't the only thing they did. Inter pretty much overhauled the squad. Mourinho made one of the quickest and best rebuilds I have ever seen in football in this summer.

https://www.transfermarkt.com/inter-mailand/transfers/verein/46/saison_id/2009
 

Clermontois

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What a load of rubbish. Zlatan plays to a media personality and sure he’s confident, even arrogant at times but he backs that up so who cares. He’s so much more interesting than some big standard player. Off the pitch, he’s a model professional which can be seen by the fact he’s still performing at the top level at the age of 39. That takes unbelievable dedication to the sport and to his conditioning. What makes you say he’s not a good personality?
If he only played up his media personality that would be fine but he is a Grade-A twat on the field even to his own teammates. It never ceases to amaze me the excuses made for people like him but none are afforded to others who are not nearly as nasty in their behaviour.

He really is not interesting at all absolutely no one cares what he does outside of the 72hrs where he declares himself the best player in whatever league he is in. David Beckham had a bigger following across the pond and Zlatan pales in popularity outside the media compared to Neymar or Paul. Also what does 'standard' player mean...not a twat?!

That question is a joke? Just because you like him that does not mean he has a good personality because he surely does not. His career is littered with stuff like the below and some of them he was not even carded or spoken to, by the time he left Ligue1 he was hated by most. After the Mavuba incident in particular he settled down quite a bit but in the other leagues he reverted to type.


 
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Idxomer

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This is the problem I'm talking about. His teams didn't flop in CL due to him to label them "Ibra's teams". It's not like he was the reason that hindered them in the competition. It doesn't work like that for any player not just Zlatan that's all.
Usually, they were his teams more than anyone else in the squad. That was the same predicament when he was at United by the way. Anyway, that was just an expression and a very small part of my argument as to why he was a failure, the same as his teams in the CL. And with the pedestals, he and others put him on, he should be judged to a higher standard. If he fails this standard, maybe he's not as great as some proclaim.
 

GDaly95

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Flirting with the cusp of world class.

With a personality that suggest he was among the best in the world.

I like him nonetheless. He kind of seems like he doesn't take things too seriously and that's his prerogative.
 

el3mel

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Usually, they were his teams more than anyone else in the squad. That was the same predicament when he was at United by the way. Anyway, that was just an expression and a very small part of my argument as to why he was a failure, the same as his teams in the CL. And with the pedestals, he and others put him on, he should be judged to a higher standard. If he fails this standard, maybe he's not as great as some proclaim.
I'm leaving United out of conversation mostly as we didn't play in CL with him.

I don't think Barca was really his team though. He had problems with Pep obviously and Messi was the main focus of the team at the end. He couldn't work well with Messi so it was best for both at this point to part company. However, looking at his CL number, he still scored 2 goals away against Arsenal in QF in a 2-2 draw that gave them a big advantage in second leg, and the way Barca were KOed to Inter wasn't really down to him imo, as it happened again in exactly similar manner and against similar defensive tactics against Chelsea. At the end it didn't work for him there, but Barca's failure in winning CL this year was not really thanks to him imo.

Sure, him failing to win CL in his career will go on as a big regret but at the end of the day, he's not the only one who failed in such task.
 

MattofManchester

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I find it hard to judge opinions on posts like these, as you're going to get the crop who seriously despise a player and echo that clearly, those who like him as a player and echo that clearly, and those taking an in between standpoint that just get drowned out.

Frankly, I find that his personality to the media is something of a persona. Didn't Ronaldo echo the same thoughts a few years back?
I don't think anyone would be so full of themselves to think of themselves in the third person, yet at the same time be viewed as a leader and still take instructions from their superiors. Narcissism wouldn't allow it.
He plays to it, and quite frankly, it's more entertaining than some of the deadpan comments we hear every week from nearly every player.

As a player. Well, anyone who's scored over 500 goals in their career and still doing it at an fairly advanced age is quite remarkable, don't you think?
 

Idxomer

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He scored 5 goals in 7 matches in 2008 CL with Inter. In next year, they got KOed in 16th round to a much, much better Manchester United side that were the champions and pretty much best or second best team in the world at this time.

Zlatan leaving in the 2009 summer wasn't the only thing they did. Inter pretty much overhauled the squad. Mourinho made one of the quickest and best rebuilds I have ever seen in football in this summer.

https://www.transfermarkt.com/inter-mailand/transfers/verein/46/saison_id/2009
They used his money to bring a better balance for their team. I remember this season very well. I basically told anyone who would listen that Inter is the team which would stop Barca that year.
 

el3mel

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They used his money to bring a better balance for their team. I remember this season very well. I basically told anyone who would listen that Inter is the team that would stop Barca that year.
Yeah regardless of my opinion on Zlatan I view this as one of the best transfer markets and rebuilds of a team I have ever witnessed. This is pretty much Mourinho in his peak imo.
 

amolbhatia50k

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I think he has a decent shot at being the third best attacker of his generation. In all honesty, it is between him, Suarez and Lewandowski (Aguero, Neymar, RVP, Rooney and possibly Villa/Muller/Cavani to complete the top 10).
I agree with many others that Zlatan is marketed very well and us consider him a cut below the very best. If I'm facing a team or putting one together, there's no chance he's Suarez' equal either way whether the CF I want or the one I want to avoid.

But even aside from Suarez I'd pick many before Ibra one being the player he was swapped him - Eto'o.

As I said before it's funny how differently he and Rooney are viewed