Was Selling Zlatan Ibrahimovich the Right Move for Barcelona?

Tre' AtkinsonFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2012

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 16: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Barcelona celebrates with teamates after Barcelona beat Real Valladolid 4-0 to clinch La Liga title after their match at Camp Nou stadium on May 16, 2010 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

The world has been set aflame by Zlatan Ibrahimovich's bicycle kick against England. Further more, the tall Swede scored four total goals against the English. No doubt Zlatan is one of the world's greatest players.

Barcelona bought Ibrahimovich in the summer of 2009 (via goal.com). The Sweden international had relative success at Barcelona as a player and contributed quite well, but Zlatan was never the player he has been historically while with the Spanish giants.

While Ibrahimovich was a good player, his personality saw him fall at Barcelona.

Goal.com has given a report of some of the things that happened while at Barcelona, and some of the things said after he departed, which can be found here. Though Zlatan had issues with the club, the question must be asked. Was selling Ibrahimovich absolutely necessary?

One thing that could make Barcelona an even stronger team would be the presence of a tall and powerful target man. Zlatan is just the player that would help Barcelona break down a packed box in defense.

Ibrahimovich has the ability to head the ball, dribble and also possesses one of the most powerful shots in the world. No doubt a player of that caliber would only help the offensive game of Barcelona.

Against a parked bus defense, Barcelona has struggled to score goals. While most players are not gifted with heading and powerful shots, Zlatan is. One can only wonder what the team would look like today had Ibrahimovich worked out.

There was also the issue of Lionel Messi. Zlatan certainly has a giant ego, and being second on the team was not to his liking (via Goal). Had the Sweden International stayed at Barcelona, Messi may have never been moved to his famous "false 9" position.

The influence of Messi at Barcelona is tremendous and the player will always get what he wants. This was the problem for Ibrahimovich as he was being asked to adapt to a system not suited for his specific style of football.

The final straw was the relationship between Zlatan and Pep Guardiola. ESPN reported that the pair had not spoken for 6 months before the sell of the Swede. This no doubt caused issues that necessitated a sell as soon as possible.

Zlatan Ibrahimovich is one of the world's greatest players, that much is certain.

Yet, Barcelona is known as a club that is a family. The ego and attitude of Zlatan made his ability as a player not worth the effort off the field. From bust ups with then coach Pep Guardiola to playing second fiddle to Messi, Zlatan did not work out (via goal.com).

No matter how good of a player one is, no player is bigger than the club. This is especially true at Barcelona. Yes, Zlatan as a player would only make Barcelona better by giving another option. But, Zlatan the person did not, and could never, fit in the Catalan club. 

I will be the first to admit that selling Zlatan was not only the right move, but had to happen. It allowed for Messi to move his current position as well as for the Tiki Taka style to grow stronger.

Yet, one can only wonder where the club would be today had Zlatan stayed. Personally I believe, Barcelona would not be the force of world football they are today if Zlatan would have remained at the Catalan club.


Now to you, the readers. Was selling Zlatan the right choice? Or was even buying him in the first place a bad idea?

 Tre, the Catalan of Bleacher Report.