Despite a showing in the Euros that could kindly be described as “flaccid,” Zlatan Ibrahimovic has dominated the football hype machine the past two weeks. He announced his retirement from the Swedish national team; a decision that makes sense on paper (he’s 34) yet goes against Zlatan’s seemingly genetic ego and Icarus-esque pride.
Yet unlike Icarus, Zlatan is not an outdated reference. He is one of the centerpieces of the newborn Jose Mourinho era at Manchester United. In a move that can only be described as “vintage Zlatan,” the Swede announced the move himself in an endearingly straightforward Instagram post, rather than have the announcement made by the club, as has been the case in most if not all transfers ever.
As Zlatan said himself, #iamcoming.
If his last encounter with English football is any indication, the Premier League will be little different from his domination of Europe throughout his career*:
While the size of Zlatan’s ego resembles the sun, he (almost impossibly) has the talent to match. The ‘world class’ label doesn’t do Zlatan justice. He is 6’4 with the power of Cristiano Ronaldo, the feet of [insert over-hyped Brazilian here], and the tactical intelligence of Luka Modric. To call him an anomaly is to severely understate his ability.
For a fun, catchy, and complete resume, see this song by Swedish pop- electronic duo Sanjin & Youthman:
(Seriously, watch this. Replay it. Work out to it.)
Perhaps the insanity and awe of what Zlatan Ibrahimovic is can be summed up by the look on this kid’s face: Zlatan is a god. And what makes him irresistible is that he knows it.