Friday, November 16, 2012

Zlata Ibrahimovic in one night stand

So much ado about the defeat of England by Sweden and even much more hype about the goals that sank the ship, in particular the spectacular kick that killed the game. At least it was not in England but in any case, why should the English suffer such embarrassing acts of genius artisanry always? Remember the Scorpion or Donkey kick of Higuita?

The Barack Obama re-election came amid much disapproval, of interest was that he bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia. As the President of the United States of America, there are a few ground rules – the code. Maybe they are right to rubbish the performance but it was top-drawer stuff.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is as much a victim of that mentality. I really do not remember myself liking the Swede at all. In his prominent travels, Ibra left significant marks wherever he was, but many dubbed his cool poise as arrogance and claimed he was over-rated. That, I admit, I am one of those, but frankly, besides Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who don’t I think is over-rated?

I met people who think David Livingstone was also over-rated. When David discovered the Victoria Falls, little was known that, actually, blacks had discovered whites who ran away up north, preferring to stay in the cold. Few decided to take the Mayflower west while a few rebels were shipped down under.

Now that we have just discovered a brand new gem in Ibra, we deserve to be in the history books along the same David of Mosi wa thunya. Zlatan sensational turned the world of football around, but will he rank among Messi, Ronaldo, Eto’o and Drogba?

Maybe not, because he is not that young, but he has caused as much sensation as Diego Maradona with his ‘Hand of God’ of 1986 Fifa World Cup in Mexico. Only that it was a friendly match against Roy Hodgson’s trialists in a match Captain Steven Gerrard reached his glorious 100th cap. Steven G will not forget that one anytime soon.

Ibra is not in a class of the best ever players in the world and whether you believe it or not, he will never be. This is despite his 4th goal competing with ‘the best ever’, ‘one of the top bla bla.’ We have scored those and even better ones in the park, at school or wherever there were no TV cameras. At this point understanding the man’s intelligence is vital. If I wanted to sound sophisticated, I would tell you that it is called tactical awareness.

Positional sense and his orientation about his cardinal bearings on the field of play is what made it special. This is the reason why he is the most expensive player in the world considering the sums of cash that changed hands for his transfers from club to club. The man is a pure finisher, the type of player I will always have in my teams.

He is in the class of Robbie Fowler, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Michael Owen, Fabricio Ravanelli and Gianluca Vialli to name a few. Given a small space, the man will punish you like Joe Hart will tell you. As much as the best goalkeeper in the English league since the days of David Seaman and Peter Schmichael can confess, conceding four class goals made Hart look silly. There is not much his defence could have done, save for the 3rd goal, but what a finish.

On average, his goals were great, given they came on the same day and against England. If there is any bowing to do, England must bow to the greatness of Ibra, even if it was a one night stand.