[dropcap]W[/dropcap]inning a domestic league title is the crowning moment of plenty of players’ careers; just ask Steven Gerrard, who leaves Liverpool this summer without ever being an English champion.
However, for Zlatan Ibrahimović it has become the norm.
The outspoken, brilliant-yet-egotistical centre forward is firing Paris Saint-Germain towards the Ligue 1 trophy this season, which incredibly would be the 12th time that the Swede has won a national title.
It all started for the scandalous Scandinavian in Holland, where the targetman made his name at Ajax following a move from modest Malmo.
Over the space of three seasons at the Amsterdam Arena, Ibrahimović claimed two Eredivisie titles in the forging of quite the impressive habit.
His goalscoring exploits at Ajax quickly led to attention from Europe’s top clubs, with Italian greats Juventus winning the race for the striker’s hand.
In two seasons in Turin, Zlatan continued his hot streak and fired the Bianconeri to back-to-back Scuedtti – which were later revoked due to the Calciopoli scandal.
In 2006 Juve opted to part company with the tempestuous forward, selling him to domestic rivals Inter.
Ibrahimović’s arrival marked the beginning of a glory period for the Nerazzurri, with the Milan-based outfit become a driving force in Italian football during the striker’s time at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.
Three seasons, over 50 Serie A goals and three more domestic titles followed for the Swede in a continuation of his incredible record of success.
Barcelona swooped to bring Ibra to Camp Nou in 2009, with the burly attacker deemed to be the final piece of the Blaugrana attacking puzzle.
However, a clash of personalities with Pep Guardiola cut the Scandinavian’s time at the Catalan club to only one season – but Ibrahimović ensured he left with a La Liga crown to add to his growing collection.
A return to Italy, this time to AC Milan, marked two seasons defined by a host of Ibrahimović goals.
The Sweden international initially joined the Rossoneri on loan and fired the club to the Scudetto, before moving on a permanent basis.
Despite his second season in 2011-12 being trophyless for Zlatan, it was not due to a lack of goals from the poacher; 28 Serie A strikes in 32 games proved his ability as one of the world’s best.
With Milan facing financial difficulties and receiving an indecent proposition from the exuberant Paris Saint-Germain, the Italian side did the unthinkable and parted ways with the Swede and world-class team-mate Thiago Silva.
Over three years in the French capital, Ibrahimović has become the posterboy for the PSG revolution, leading the team to two Ligue 1 titles and playing a significant role in the Parc des Princes side’s current positioning on top of the table.
If Laurent Blanc’s men do make it a hat-trick of French titles this season, it will be Ibrahimović’s 12th domestic crown, with the player already claiming glory in four different countries.
The 33-year-old’s hat-trick in midweek saw PSG through to the domestic cup final and took the striker beyond the 100-goal tally for the French side.
It looks likely that the veteran will become the capital city side’s leading all-time goalscorer in the near future, with Ibrahimović only needing seven more goals to set yet another record.
Adding his club exploits to 54 international goals for Sweden, making him his nation’s leading scorer, again shows the sheer class of Ibrahimović.
Disliked by many due to his controversial and outspoken nature, whether or not the Swede is a role model for young players remains to be seen.
However, his goal record and level of success cannot be questioned, with Ibrahimović set to go down as one of the best centre forwards of a generation.
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