Zlatan Ibrahimovic Set Champions League Record Last Night

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zlatan ibrahimovic

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his UEFA Champions League debut with Manchester United last night, and thus appeared in the European tournament with his seventh team. That’s a new record and another milestone for the 36-year-old superstar.

Ibrahimovic made his Champions League debut with Ajax in 2002, and has also played for Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.

This past weekend saw Ibrahimovic return to action for the first time since tearing up his knee against Anderlecht in the Europa League quarterfinals against Anderlecht last April. Much like during the 4-1 win over Newcastle, Zlatan came on as a late substitute last night in the 1-0 defeat at FC Basel last night.

Ibrahimovic continues to come along slowly, not quite ready for first team minutes or appearances yet. After making his return, Ibra revealed that his injury was a lot more serious than he had led on, and that only a very small number of select people truly knew how much rehabilitation and convalescence was required in order to reach this point.

“In my recovery, I have not rushed anything. I have been following protocol and my schedule day by day,” the Swede said after playing the final 13 minutes on Saturday (he played the final 16 last night).

“The only secret has been working hard. Those close to me know what I have been doing. I was working five, six hours a day. When it happened I said giving up was not an option.”

zlatan ibrahimovic

“I am very proud of the moment, and for everyone around me because I wouldn’t have done it alone,” he continued.

“This was not one man’s work, it was everyone’s and thanks to them that I am back on the field and can play, because if people knew the real injury they would be in shock that I was even playing.”

Ibrahimovic, United’s leading scorer last season both in the Europa League and overall as a whole, has scored 48 goals in Champions League over his career.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

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