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 Can Ibra Finally Conquer Europe ???

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Mahdiano
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Number of posts : 1001
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Fav. Teams : F.C Internazionale Milano
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Registration date : 2008-08-22

PostSubject: Can Ibra Finally Conquer Europe ???   Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:56 pm

Can Ibra Finally Conquer Europe?



Zlatan Ibrahimovic produced a mesmerising individual performance for Inter in the Champions League last night. The ‘Super Swede’ has long been criticised for flopping on the European stage – can he finally produce when it matters this time around?

Since arriving in Italy in 2004, few can argue against the impact that Zlatan Ibrahimovic has made on domestic football in the peninsula. The giant marksman has won the Scudetto every year, two each with Juventus and Inter, and aside from his under-par second season with the Bianconeri, he has played a key role in each of these triumphs.

For someone who has always been criticised for his finishing - and rightfully so - in total Ibra has still managed to score 55 goals in 123 Serie A appearances. Not a bad ratio, especially when you consider the large number of assists that he also regularly conjures up.

When at his best, Ibra is very close to being the complete forward. Tall, strong, sound in the air, skilful, creative, with the ability to hold up the ball, as well as produce the unexpected, it is no surprise that the player has in the past drawn comparisons with the legendary Marco Van Basten.

Ibrahimovic demonstrated all of these qualities during Inter’s 2-0 win over Panathinaikos in their Champions League opener last night. His first half performance, as I wrote in my player ratings, was a lesson to all strikers who play the game. The 26-year-old created both goals with two quite stunning assists, the first after beating three men before laying the ball off to Mancini, and the second after threading a blind through pass to Adriano with the outside of his boot.

“He did an incredible job,” said Inter coach Mourinho, who hugged and embraced the Swede following Adriano’s killer second.

“His commitment is an example of how to become an exceptional sportsman. His second assist was genius.”

Despite these moments of genius, Ibra is still not championed on the continent as he is in Italy. In Britain in particular, Ibrahimovic is considered by many managers, fans, and journalists to be the most over-rated player ever to have played the game. Indeed these were the words that Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill once used about the player some months ago.

Of course this is a terrible over exaggeration, as anyone who tunes into Serie A will know what Ibra is capable of. However, the truth remains that the Swede has never performed well in the big Champions League games up until this point, and indeed it is not too harsh to describe him as a big game (continental) flop.

Last season there were three major reasons for Inter’s exit to Liverpool in the last 16. One of these (the officials and Roberto Mancini were the others) was the hugely disappointing performance in both legs of Ibrahimovic, who was a ghost at Anfield, and missed a number of sitters at San Siro. The season before that he was poor during the last 16 elimination to Valencia, while the same was so for Juventus during their 2005 and 2006 quarter final exits to Liverpool and Arsenal respectively.

Last night Ibrahimovic was an absolute magician against Panathinaikos, but this was in the first game of the group stage against a rather mediocre team. We have seen Ibra perform in these kinds of games so many times in the past, but against better opposition, and when the post-February pressure is really on, he has often struggled.

Perhaps Mourinho is the coach to get the very best out of Ibrahimovic, and will allow him to finally live up to his undoubted potential on the European stage. If this proves to be the case then Inter will have a great chance of ending their 43-year Champions League drought.

What are your views on this topic? Can Ibra finally conquer Europe? Is this the year that the Swede will show what he is really made of in the Champions League? Or will it prove to be a fifth straight flop once the knockout rounds commence? Goal.com wants to know what YOU think…

Carlo Garganese

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Last edited by Mahdiano on Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mahdiano
EFN's God Father
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Number of posts : 1001
Age : 27
Location : Cairo , Egypt
Fav. Teams : F.C Internazionale Milano
Fav. Players : Materazzi , Ibrahimovic , Quaresma , Adriano and Zanetti
Registration date : 2008-08-22

PostSubject: Re: Can Ibra Finally Conquer Europe ???   Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:58 pm

I found this article on Goal.com n i was very excited about it n after i read it i felt that i can share it here on the forums n get to know ur oppinions about the article.

But 1st i hope u read it carefully b4 u make any off topic comments n try not 2 be Biased as most of us Egyptians r to their Clubs n fav players.

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