A wise man once said: “If you consistently feel the need to say you’re something, it means that you’re probably not.”
The author of this quote is unknown; however, it is more than guaranteed that this wise man wasn’t Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swedish international, instead, has once again felt the need to indirectly manifest his frustration for not being considered the world’s best player by the public opinion.
With his already repetitive “I don’t need the Ballon d’Or to know I am the best” of two days ago, the 32-year-old was able to summarize the journey of his entire career, certainly characterized by uncountable magnificent performances but also many others in which they were the total opposite.
The truth is that, without a doubt, Ibrahimovic is one of the world’s best players. As a matter of fact, no other professional around the globe can perfectly combine pure talent with incomparable physical strength the same way he does. Thanks to this ability he is a very unique representation of the extraordinary magic of the beautiful game as demonstrated by many of the goals he has scored over the years that can only be described as spectaculars.
Unfortunately for his fans, however, his career has also been strongly characterized by his extreme arrogance, which has surely affected both his professional and private life as it prevented him from winning more than he has already done. Of course, some may argue that he has already collected enough titles to be recognized as a legend. Nonetheless, even if his curriculum does in fact have a relevant amount of successes they simply cannot be considered enough for someone with his capabilities. To understand this point, it is only enough to realize that out of the 20 trophies he has won, only two are international: the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA World Cup Club, both achieved with Barcelona in 2009.
Moreover, in order to determine whether or not a professional career has been successful the analysis has to go beyond the simple sum of the titles won. In fact, the social component also has to be taken into consideration. As a result of this it could be argued that Ibrahimovic’s career has been a failure, considering how little he is missed by all of his former clubs.
For this reason, he represents the frustrated face among the soccer Olympus, which is mainly composed by legendary individuals who, contrary to the Swedish captain, were able to seed more than just titles over the course of their careers. Three of the biggest examples are Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Del Piero, and Javier Zanetti, whose accomplishments are not even remotely limited to simple trophies. Instead, their success is mostly related to the immense love from which fans look up to them. Consequently, it is not a surprise that they never felt the need to do self-proclamations in order to feel rewarded.