There is an old saying in football which goes “Form is temporary, class is permanent”. And after Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his 15th league goal of the season for Manchester United during the weekend, the Swedish striker has proven that statement to be true.
When Ibrahimovic arrived at Old Trafford at the beginning of the season after a highly impressive spell at Paris Saint-Germain, many were skeptical. The French Ligue 1 certainly wasn’t the most competitive league in the world, and a move to England at the age of 35 will certainly be a difficult task for the charismatic Swede, as many pundits pointed out.
With a smug shrug and a cheeky grin, Ibrahimovic proved those pundits wrong from the word go.
In his league debut for Manchester United, Ibrahimovic scored with style when he rocketed the ball towards goal from long range in the Red Devils’ first game of the season against Bournemouth. United won the game 3-1. The Swede followed it with a brace against Southampton the following week, leading United to a 2-0 win.
Sure, he suffered a dip in form in the weeks that followed, but Zlatan ensured his supporters he is the king when he scored four goals in as many matches in December, winning him the Premier League Player of the Month. When he received the award, he said with typical Zlatan swagger, “I conquered England – it took three months.”
Fast-forward to last Sunday, Ibrahimovic once again exhibited his typical cool and composed self in front of goal, receiving the ball from Antonio Valencia’s cross and placing it home for the goal. It was Zlatan’s 15th league goal – making him the oldest player to do so at 35 years and 125 days.
To be able to do what he did and claim such a record, Zlatan has proven that indeed, class is permanent; that indeed, he can still do it in the Premier League, despite all the doubt that had been thrown his way. True enough, he said it himself: “I think I’m like wine. The older I get, the better I get.”
This article originally featured on Devils Only.