PSG Needs Zlatan. Stop Suggesting Otherwise.
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I am going to start a new religion. It will be called Zlatanism.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a miracle worker. The ancient god of awkward, silly, amazing goals has inhabited Zlatan’s body and Zlatan is his servant. Zlatan is a good servant.
People are celebrating Paris Saint-Germain’s victory over Barcelona this week, and saying things like “Maybe PSG are better off without Zlatan.”
No event that Zlatan Ibrahimovic should be participating in but isn’t should be celebrated.
Zlatan is the patron saint of goals that make you scrunch up your face like you just smelled sour milk and say things like, “How the hell did he do that?”
Zlatan looks like the illegitimate love child of Peter Crouch and the comic book guy in “The Simpsons.” His legs go for miles, and when he runs he resembles a giant bird, maybe an ostrich or a large goose.
His long legs seem to be more flexible than normal legs. Some people are double-jointed. Zlatan is eight-jointed.
He scores his silly goals in every imaginable way, by dribbling around the other team’s entire defense, by twisting his eight-jointed leg in a way that isn’t possible for humans and tapping the ball into the net, by kicking the ball with the bottom of his foot like King Leonidas kicked that guy into the pit in the movie 300, by bicycle-kicking the ball in from well outside the 18.
He scores headers and free kicks. He posts up defenders and rips them to the ground, or he cleverly gets the ball by them and outruns them to the goal.
Oh, and volleys. And free kicks. And backheels.
He chips the keeper or shoots under the keeper or dribbles the ball around the keeper. He scores in every imaginable way because he is Zlatan.
Zlatan just finds the net, like migratory birds find their feeding and mating grounds every year.
It’s purely instinct. Like a shark needs to feed, Zlatan needs to score.
Zlatan is great because you never know what’s going to happen. He keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Even when he’s not playing, Zlatan has cultivated one of the best personalities in the game. All "Zlatan is a scoring diety" jokes aside, he could probably be a cult leader if he wanted. This is a person who named his autobiography “I am Zlatan,” as if there could have been some confusion.
Yeah, maybe PSG didn’t need Zlatan to beat Barcelona, but they need him because he is Zlatan. Even if you don’t need him, you need him.
So don’t celebrate PSG’s victory sans Zlatan. Celebrate when he comes back, because watching him score is the real victory.
Follow Sam Klomhaus on Twitter @SamKlomhaus