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Euro Stars

Andy Greeves profiles a host of footballing greats we have faced in European competition. This month, Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who played for AC Milan against us in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 in 2010-11, is under the spotlight.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic up against Sandro at White Hart Lane in the Champions League in March, 2011.

If there was one moment from his glittering career to best sum up Zlatan Ibrahimovic, it would probably be his spectacular, long-range bicycle kick for Sweden against England on November 14, 2012.

Technically perfect and as bold and audacious in nature as the forward’s personality, the goal won the FIFA Puskas Award as the best strike of the year.

Born in Malmo on October 3, 1981, Ibrahimovic’s career began with his local club Malmo FF. After scoring 16 goals in 40 Swedish league matches between 1999 and 2001, he transferred to Ajax.

He twice won the Eredivisie title as well as the KNVB Cup with the Amsterdam club between 2001 and 2004 as he plundered 35 goals in 74 league games. Another big transfer followed in 2004, as he moved to Juventus, twice winning Serie A with them between 2004 and 2006, although Juve were subsequently stripped of those titles due to the Calciopoli scandal.

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