Ranking Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Top 6 Moments for Paris Saint-Germain This Season
Zlatan Ibrahmovic has been in outstanding form for Paris Saint-Germain this season. Even by his usual high standards, the Swedish striker has consistently produced brilliant displays in both domestic and European competitions.
At the time of writing, PSG's talismanic No. 10 has notched a remarkable 37 goals in 35 appearances in all competitions—already a record tally for an individual season.
With three months still to go in the current campaign and PSG still competing on three fronts, the statistics for his season look set to become even greater.
Ibrahimovic has been at the centre of all PSG's triumphs this year. With such an array of options to choose from, it is very difficult to pick his top moments.
Here are six of the very best highlights from Zlatan's displays for Paris Saint-Germain this season.
4 Goals Against Anderlecht
This is Zlatan's best moment of the season for two reasons. Firstly, he scored four goals away against Anderlecht in the Champions League. Secondly, each goal was very different, displaying the versatility to his brilliance.
The first came after 17 minutes. Gregory van der Wiel slid an inviting ball across the face of goal and Ibrahimovic was there to tuck in at the far post.
Replays demonstrate the Swede's clever movement to make space, first feinting to run for the near post before checking and pulling away to the far one, creating an easy finish.
If the finish for Ibrahimovic's first goal was easy, the second was anything but. Again, Van der Wiel was the provider, drilling a low cross from the right flank. This time, Zlatan powered ahead of his marker at the near post, adjusting his body cleverly to flick the ball into the bottom corner with his trailing leg.
The third goal was undisputedly the best of the four. Having dropped deeper to link up play in the midfield, PSG's No. 10 reacted fastest to a headed clearance to thunder an unstoppable strike into the top corner from fully 30 yards.
The bullet strike was clocked at an astounding 93 mph and left all four corners of the ground applauding the Swede.
The fourth goal, coming in the second half, was technically superb. A lofted through ball found Zlatan in space on the right flank. His first touch on the chest brought the ball under his spell and, as he ran into the area, he fired a dipping effort on the bounce in off the far post.
Four fantastic finishes, one special night in Belgium for the big striker.
Amazing Backheel Against Bastia
If all four of Ibrahimovic's goals against Anderlecht demonstrated that he was capable of scoring all sorts of goals, his improvised effort against Bastia proved he was capable of simply breathtaking finishing.
PSG romped to a 4-0 victory in the October encounter, but the moment of the match came after just 10 minutes.
A cross from the right deflected high up into the air and Ibrahimovic contorted his body to thrash home a back-heeled volley with his right foot into the far top corner.
The Swede is often modest in celebrating his goals. After all, he scores so often, but this effort had him roaring with delight and jumping over the advertising hoardings to celebrate with the fans chanting his name.
Ibrahimovic has an honorary black belt in taekwondo and this goal was reminiscent of a spinning martial arts kick. The sublime strike has amassed millions of views on YouTube, and justifiably so.
Brilliant Brace vs Bayer Leverkusen
For many, Paris Saint-Germain's dominance in Ligue 1 is so great that the only real test of their credentials as a world-class side is the Champions League.
Despite his decorated career, Zlatan has never won the Champions League, but this year PSG are being considered as genuine contenders for the big-eared trophy.
The 4-0 dismantling of Bayer Leverkusen on February 18 demonstrated their quality and in particular the quality of their talismanic striker. Ibrahimovic scored a superb brace to ensure a crushing victory for the French side.
Hist first goal was a confident penalty, dispatched low into the left-hand corner with his favoured right foot.
His second makes a mockery of him even being right-footed. Blaise Matuidi rolled the ball back to him just outside the area and the big Swede drilled a thunderous, left-footed shot high into the far right corner of the net.
PSG now have one foot in the quarter-finals, mainly due to a fine display from their No. 10.
Vital Hat-Trick Against Toulouse
As well as a superb attack, PSG are blessed with a solid defence. On the rare occasions when they concede multiple goals, however, they can be thankful that Zlatan is there to help out.
This was the case against Toulouse, where Ibrahimovic's vital hat-trick decided a toughly fought contest which seesawed this way and that before the final whistle blew.
He opened his account with a penalty. Waiting for the keeper to commit himself, he nonchalantly rolled the ball down the centre of the goal with consummate ease.
Ibrahimovic demonstrated his sharp reactions to flick home a Yohan Cabaye free-kick for his second and completed his hat-trick by stabbing home the rebound to his own impudent Panenka penalty.
The hat-trick at the Stade Municipal ensured PSG maintained a five-point lead at the top of Ligue 1. If PSG do retain their title crown this season, performances such as this from Ibrahimovic will be crucial.
Dominant Double over Benfica
PSG took control of their Champions League group in stunning fashion with an emphatic 3-0 win over Portugese giants Benfica back in October. Unsurprisingly, Ibrahimovic was the catalyst for the victory.
The Swedish striker hit a devastating first-half double salvo on either side of a Marquinhos goal to effectively end the tie by the break.
Opening the scoring with a simple tap-in at the back post after just five minutes, Zlatan went on to terrorise the Benfica back line throughout the first period.
Marquinhos slid home from close range to double PSG's lead before Ibrahimovic rose highest from a corner to direct a towering header across goal and into the net.
Such a comprehensive victory over a good Benfica side, Europa League runners-up last season, sent out the message that PSG are a force to be reckoned with in Europe. With Ibrahimovic leading the line, they are in with a chance at Champions League glory.
Crucial Cup Goals Against Nantes
PSG remain on course for a domestic double this season. They lead Ligue 1 by five points and await a Coupe de la Ligue final match against Lyon after a Zlatan-inspired victory over Nantes in a tight semi-final.
It was a moment of brilliance from the Swede that put PSG ahead after just five minutes. Rémy Riou, the Nantes keeper, mishit a weak clearance and could only watch as the ball sailed back over his head courtesy of an instinctive first-time lob from Zlatan.
After enduring a tough opening 30 minutes, Les Canaris came back strongly in the second half and deservedly equalised with 10 minutes remaining.
Ibrahimovic is famed for his spectacular goals, but his value to PSG stems from his ability to score vital goals at important moments too.
His winner against Nantes is a great example, stooping low to power a header into the far corner. Ibrahimovic's excellence propelled PSG into the final.