At Last! Ibrahimovic Confirms Joining Manchester United

ibrahim

Bastian Schweinsteiger of Manchester United during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Manchester United and PSV Eindhoven on November 25, 2015 at Old Trafford in Manchester, England(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)

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It’s really happening. It’s finally happening. Manchester United is signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The sport’s most colorful player is joining its most colorful league.

Well, actually, if we were to phrase it properly, by the style guide mandated by our second-favorite (@YahooSoccer) Twitter account @ZlatanFacts, it’s the other way around. Zlatan is signing Man United.

Nearing his 35th birthday, the big Swedish striker is coming off his most prolific season ever, scoring 38 league goals in just 31 games to lead his steamrolling Paris Saint-Germain to his fourth league title in four seasons there. That’s eight more goals than he had ever scored in a single campaign. Indeed, his four-year league haul of 113 goals with PSG is easily the most productive stretch of his career.

The Premier League will be more demanding than Ligue 1 though. And with United, he won’t get nearly as many scoring chances. Given how static Zlatan has become, it’s quite possible that his enormous $300,000-per-week contract, which will make him one of the highest-paid players in England, will become an albatross on a team that needs rebuilding more than reloading.

But all of that seems to miss the point and essence of Zlatan. He’s a good striker – and was not so long ago a great striker. He’ll score goals. And we’ll finally get to see him in the most visible sports league in the world. United will reunite him with new manager Jose Mourinho, who has a personality that’s almost as big – the two get on famously since their days together at Inter Milan nonetheless, or perhaps because of this.

What Zlatan ensures above goals, though, is entertainment. His personality is so big – the scowling, the swaggering, the impossible goals, the one-liners – that he becomes his own show within the game he plays. For a leading club that has lost a great deal of its glamor, landing Zlatan, even at his near-geriatric age, is an optical coup, if not necessarily a footballing one.

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