8 Insane Zlatan Ibrahimovic Stats No One Talks About
Zlatan Ibrahimovic may not be on the pitch for Paris Saint-Germain at present, but the super Swede has still enjoyed the best season of his career to date.
The 32-year-old suffered a thigh injury in PSG’s UEFA Champions League first leg against Chelsea and has since been out of action. It is not yet known whether or not Zlatan will return again this season.
The French titleholders travel to face FC Sochaux-Montbeliard on Sunday, knowing that a win will see them crowned champions for a second consecutive campaign—a first in the capital club’s history.
Laurent Blanc and his side’s potential league and domestic cup double owes plenty to Ibrahimovic’s exploits, but for the talismanic striker it is just the latest in a long line of impressive achievements.
The PSG no. 10 has broken all sorts of records in the French capital this season and his most productive campaign to date has produced all manner of insane statistics. However, there are a number of equally crazy facts and figures from throughout Ibra’s career that many people have overlooked or forgotten.
Here are eight insane Ibrahimovic statistics that no one is talking about at present.
*All statistics from Ligue 1 are thanks to Ligue1.com. Ibrahimovic's Champions League statistics come via UEFA.com, while figures from his time at Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona and AC Milan come from soccerway.com.
Ibrahimovic took to life in Ligue 1 with PSG like a duck to water. The towering striker became the first player to score 14 goals after 16 Championnat matches this century when he scored in a 4-0 win over Evian in December of 2012, as revealed by this tweet from OptaJean.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the first player to score 14 goals after 16 French Ligue matches this century.— Infostrada Sports (@InfostradaLive) December 8, 2012
Zlatan took that tally to 18 before the end of the year, finishing the season with 30 in total after netting 12 times in 2013.
That was the first time the number had been reached since Jean-Pierre Papin scored the same amount for Marseille in the 1989-90 season.
Barcelona Debut-Season Creativity
Although considered his worst spell at any club since leaving Ajax, Zlatan Ibrahimovic still boasted a first-season tally of 21 goals with Barcelona.
That number, amazingly, puts him ahead of the likes of Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho, Patrick Kluivert, Hristo Stoichkov and even Lionel Messi himself in terms of debut-season productivity at the Camp Nou.
It is an often overlooked statistic when discussing Ibrahimovic’s supposed failure in La Liga.
Following Ibrahimovic’s most recent penalty—fortuitously scored in the 4-2 win at Toulouse back in late February—the super Swede has found the net with each of his last 24 spot-kicks in league games according to OptaJean's count.
That run includes penalties taken for AC Milan and PSG.
24 - Zlatan Ibrahimovic has converted each of his last 24 penalties in the league (Serie A + Ligue 1). Expert.— OptaJean (@OptaJean) February 23, 2014
Although Zlatan can consider himself lucky that Zacharie Boucher’s initial save from his panenka effort did not end that run officially, it is an impressive statistic all the same.
The last time that the 32-year-old failed from the spot for PSG was against Evian Thonon Gaillard in last season’s Coupe de France quarter-final.
On Verge of Le Classique History
Ibrahimovic has scored six goals for PSG in five games against Marseille in all competitions, making him the joint-best scorer in le Classique history alongside capital-club legend Pauleta.
One more goal in the French champions’ next meeting with OM will make him the undisputed king of the fixture and in less than half as many appearances as the Portuguese.
100 - Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored PSG's 100th goal in their competitive encounters with Marseille. Historic.— OptaJean (@OptaJean) February 24, 2013
Zlatan also scored PSG’s 100th goal in competitive encounters with Marseille when he found the net against the Parisians’ bitter rivals at the Parc des Princes last February, as noted by OptaJean.
Ibrahimovic was the first player in the history of football to be transferred three times for more than the sum of €20 million when he joined AC Milan permanently from Barcelona.
The Swede is the most expensive player in world football in terms of combined transfer fees, costing a total of €171.1 million. Nicolas Anelka—also a former PSG player—is second at €134 million.
Ibrahimovic’s chances of moving for upwards of €20 million again are now slim though as he approaches 33 years of age. He still might add another club to his resume, but do not expect him to make another move at such high cost.
Ibrahimovic the Globetrotter
Ibrahimovic became the first player to play for six different clubs in the Champions League era when he made a goal-scoring European debut for PSG in September 2012 in a 4-1 win over Dynamo Kiev according to this OptaJean tweet.
6 - Zlatan Ibrahimovic will become the first player to play for 6 different clubs in the Champions League era. Globe-trotter.— OptaJean (@OptaJean) September 17, 2012
Every single club that the Swede has played for outside of his home country have played in Europe’s top-club competition and Ibra has represented them all.
According to Goal.com, Ibrahimovic recently reaffirmed his belief that PSG will be his last European club. However, there is still time for him to add to this record with a seventh different club.
Ibrahimovic likes to make an impression when joining a new club and that is obvious from his statistics. The Swede has scored on his debut for four of his seven clubs: Juventus, Inter, Barcelona and PSG per OptaJean.
1 - Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored on his league debut for Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona and Paris SG. Impact.— OptaJean (@OptaJean) August 11, 2012
In addition to that, Zlatan has also scored league hat-tricks with three of those seven clubs: Juventus, AC Milan and PSG according to Infostrada.
Ibrahimovic scores his first Ligue 1 hat-trick. He has now scored league hat-trick for PSG, Milan and Juve. #psg— Infostrada Sports (@InfostradaLive) December 11, 2012
Prolific in Europe
Ibrahimovic became the first player to score goals for six different clubs in the Champions League when he converted a penalty on his European debut for PSG against Dynamo Kiev.
The Swede is known for his ability to score great goals, but less attention is paid to the fact that he has consistently found the back of the net wherever he has gone. Few players can boast the same claim to have scored for six different sides in European football’s elite competition, per this tweet from Infostrada.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic now also is the first to SCORE for SIX different teams in the CL: Ajax, Juventus, Internazionale, Barcelona, Milan, PSG.— Infostrada Sports (@InfostradaLive) September 18, 2012
Ibrahimovic and Maxwell’s close friendship is also well documented and the Swede claimed early last year that the Brazilian is his “teddy bear.”
The inseparable pair have played together at Ajax, Inter Milan, Barcelona and now PSG and became the first duo to have played together for four clubs in the Champions League when Ibrahimovic made his European debut for the Parisians.
PSG's Ibrahimovic/Maxwell are the FIRST duo to play together for 4 clubs in the CL. They also teamed up for Ajax, Inter and FC Barcelona.— Infostrada Sports (@InfostradaLive) September 18, 2012
Ibrahimovic’s impressive achievements are not just limited to club level though.
The Swede became the first player to have scored at least twice in three different European Championships at Euro 2012 according to this Infostrada tweet.
He could do so at a fourth as well, assuming that the Scandinavians qualify for Euro 2016 in France.
Ibrahimovic has now scored 6 goals at European Championships. Only Alan Shearer (7) and Michel Platini (9) have scored more. #Euro2012— Infostrada Sports (@InfostradaLive) June 19, 2012
Ibrahimovic is also second only to France’s Michel Platini and England’s Alan Shearer for goals scored at European Championships per Infostrada, another potential record to break in 2016.