As always with these things, the news isn’t just “the news.” The headlines in England are currently awash in praise for Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s late wonder strike last night, art of a four-goal masterclass that could have been titled Being:Zlatan. The fact he was in a Sweden shirt in Sweden giving Sweden a triumphant 4-2 victory over England was almost an accident of time and space.

A cynic might wonder if the praise from the English papers might be an attempt to reduce the result to some sort of incredible freak aberration, a World Class player randomly hitting peak form the way a radio station plays four of your favourite songs in a row on the way to work. Steven Gerrard’s acknowledgement that the strike was “the best he’s ever seen” seemed to signal there was nothing that could have been done to stop him. And even so, he might be right.

Yet there’s also an element of release after a years’ long crescendo in England to the importance and power of ‘systems.’ After the Euros were dominated by talk of “two banks of four,” “false nines,” “tiki-taka,” and “pragmatic football,” it seemed impossible to speak of the sport without a hat-tip to set-ups, managerial ethos, philosophy, belief in what football should be, blar be blar blar. Whatever happened to single, unrepeatable moments of individual creativity, a la Maradona in ’86, also against England?

Zlatan doesn’t do ‘systems,’ at least in the popular imagination. Upon leaving the flagship of all system sides in Barcelona, Ibrahimovic famously said, Lieutenant Daniels-like, “This is bullshit.” He may have well said the same of Joe Hart and the entire England defense yesterday.

And right now they and the rest of the country love him for it, because it fulfilled the empty promise of so many international friendlies and football in general—it was fun, for fun’s sake. So take some time off today to really enjoy Ibra’s goal, and other’s like it.


Steve Bottjer & Co. answer questions on searching for Canada’s next head coach during a recent roundtable.


Brendan Rodgers puts Suarez transfer rumours to rest.

Steven Gerrard describes Ibrahimovich goal as the best he’s ever witnessed.

United demand more money from Nike for kit deal endorsement.

Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris unhappy with lack of playtime and interested in leaving.


Pepe may be back in the lineup for Juventus.

France beats Italy 2-1 in international friendly.

La Liga

Pique joins the Messi vs Ronaldo debate and gives media his own two cents.

Del Bosque happy with win against Panama.


Werder Bremen manager Allofs switches sides and joins Wolfsburg.

Germany vs Netherlands friendly ends in a disappointing draw.

German national soccer team to play two friendlies in the United States next year.

Bit and Bobs

If you think Ibrahimovic’s goal was a stunner take a look at these.

Raheem Sterling’s difficult journey to the big league.

Neymar misses penalty kick against Colombia. Here is the video. Brings to mind Sergio Ramos’s miss against Bayern earlier this year.