With respect to Denmark, neutrals were cheering on Sweden in the EURO 2016 qualifier and it was only for one reason - Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
By
Matthew Connellan

18 Nov 2015 - 12:13 PM  UPDATED 18 Nov 2015 - 1:14 PM

The enigmatic, dynamic, inimitable Ibrahimovic.

A player who, on his own, is responsible for some of the most unbelievable, jaw-dropping goals in football history and by virtue of playing for Sweden, misses out on the international success he deserves.

Ibrahimovic played at the FIFA World Cup in 2002 (lost to fairtytale Senegal in the round of 16) and 2006 (lost to Germany in the quarter finals).

He also played at UEFA EURO 2004 (lost to Netherlands on penalties in the round of 16), 2008 (knocked out in the group stage) and 2012 (knocked out in the group stage).

As you can see, Ibrahimovic's stays, once he drags Sweden to the tournament, are short. And when he said he would retire after EURO 2016, the football public was hoping for one more hurrah in France next June.

And why not?

This guy, this phenomenon... he is very, very special.

Some of his goals, well, where do you start?

Stan Collymore yelling "An insane goal, I've just seen the most insane goal I've ever seen on a football pitch!" after Ibrahimovic's wonder scorpion/bicycle kick against England gives you some idea.

Never mind his alarmingly good statistics. A goal every other game, or better, at Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, and at Paris St Germain, as well as 62 goals in 111 games for Sweden, is comparable to any of the great strikers.

But it is the manner in which he scores them.

Bicycle kicks, back heels, volleys, headers, long range, close range, right foot, left foot. You name it, Ibrahimovic can do it.

Ibrahimovic's cute finish from a corner, and a wonderful free kick in this morning's qualifier against Denmark guaranteed him one last international hurrah at the age of 34. 

"Denmark wanted me to retire [tonight]," he said after the game.

"But I just retired their entire nation." 

He is a maverick, as his long list of clubs suggests. He is probably the last of his kind.

But who cares? 

We'll get to see this genius on the international stage one last time, and for that we should be grateful.