One overhead kick at a time, Zlatan becomes football’s Benjamin Button

An inescapable part of human existence is having to accept getting older.

Some rage against the dying of the light, desperately clinging onto their fading youth. Others just get on with their shit and demonstrate that age is less of a number and more of a mindset. Guess which best describes Zlatan Ibrahimovic?

If it feels as if the enigmatic Swede has been around forever, that’s because he has. Nothing makes us feel older than realising his outrageous backheel against Italy in the European Championships was 16 years ago.

Since then, Ibrahimovic has turned out for the cream of Europe’s elite and become a cult figure wherever he has ventured – if you discount his spell at Barcelona, where he was more class rebel than teacher’s pet.

Remarkably, at 39, he is still going from strength to strength. Placing himself at the forefront of AC Milan’s tentative revival, directly contributing to 10 goals in his first seven games this season and tops Serie A’s goalscoring chart – and this is without acknowledging the fact that he contracted COVID in September, an announcement which saw thoughts and prayers extended to the virus.

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READ: Ranking 12 of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s best goals in order of ridiculousness

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At Udinese, Milan reaffirmed their position as table toppers with a 2-1 win. Inevitably, Zlatan was at the centre of all the major action.

After providing the assist for Milan’s first goal, the game entered the final 10 minutes delicately tied at 1-1.

A deep cross was swung into the Udinese area, bouncing past the lunge of one defender and deflecting into the air off another.

Ibrahimovic was first to the loose ball, contorting his body in the air like Play-Doh and connected acrobatically. The end result saw the ball trickle into the net for the winning goal.

Critics will say that the effort wasn’t the cleanest, but we say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Long live King Zlatan.

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