Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughIs Zlatan Ibrahimovic one of football's true greats? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Is Zlatan Ibrahimovic one of football's true greats? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Is Zlatan Ibrahimovic one of football’s true greats?

On Wednesday evening, Zlatan Ibrahimovic added another three goals to his already highly impressive collection of strikes. 

This hat-trick followed a trademark backheel volley goal last weekend in Ligue 1. The man doesn’t do simple goals, only spectacular eye-catching ones. Remember the four goals against England? The fourth one? Only Zlatan could pull something that spectacular off. 

Beyond the superb goals collection, the Swedish superstar also has a fantastic winning record wherever he has gone; from Italy to Spain to France, Zlatan has won titles. Remarkably, though, he has never won the Champions League nor has he taken his Sweden team anywhere near success in a major tournament.

So, despite a career of fantastic moments like the hat-trick we saw against Anderlecht on Wednesday night, can we describe Zlatan as a true great? It is a topic which could be debated for a very long time indeed, but those who argue against will point to the big Champions League-sized hole on his C.V. Also, a lack of international success is something that leaves certain players behind when discussing the greatest to have ever laced up a pair of boots.

For example, for all of Lionel Messi’s incredible success at Barcelona, there is still quite a large group of critics who claim that until Messi delivers for Argentina then it will be difficult to declare him the greatest who has ever played. That is why many still claim that Pele is the best; as a result of his brilliant goalscoring record but also what he was able to achieve with Brazil. The same applies for Diego Maradona.

It may be unfair to knock Zlatan down a peg or two when discussing those who are truly great because of his lack of international success, as he has never had teams with quality like Brazil or Argentina to work with. Whilst this may be true, he did once have a team with Fredrik Ljungberg and Henrik Larsson amongst the ranks, so it is worth taking that into consideration when debating Zlatan’s placing in the ranks of the elite.

I’ll let you decide whether or not Zlatan makes it into the upper echelon of truly great players who have graced a football pitch but, for me anyway, until he wins a Champions League it is difficult to include him in my selection. Perhaps he will do it this year with Paris Saint-Germain? PSG certainly have a squad capable of success and this might be their year, but with the behemoth of Bayern Munich still marching on strongly, the Champions League may be the one that got away for Zlatan.