Mar
05
2008
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Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Back On Track

Then something unexpected happened which would change the course of his career: Juventus were implicated in the Caiciopoli match-fixing scandal. The Turin club was stripped of its 2005 and 2006 league titles and relegated to Serie B. At the beginning of the 2006-2007 season, Ibrahimovic took up the offer from Inter owner Massimo Moratti to join the club had suported as a boy. At first it seemed that the player’s downward spiral was continuing. In October 2006, he announced that he would no longer play fot the national team. This followed a row with Sweden coaches Lars Lagerback and Roland Andersson when the forward broke a curfew ahead of a EURO 2008 qualifying match by sneaking out of the team hotel to a nightclub.
Under the expert guidance of Roberto Mancini, however, Ibrahimovic was quickly back on track. He is scoring goals, creating them and mostly keeping his temper under control. He has returned to the Sweden squad and won the Swedish Golden Ball as the country’s 2007 player of the year. Inter are currently dominating Serie A and looking formidable in the UEFA Champions League.
The EURO 2008 draw was not particularly kind to Sweden, pitting the country against Spain, Russia and the 2004 winners, Greece. But it is in such difficult situations that special players make the difference. If Ibrahimovic’s time does not come in 2008, it is fair to ask whether it ever will.