Zlatan Ibrahimovic was kept waiting but finally scored his 500th career club goal for Milan against Crotone on Sunday. (More Football News)
The 39-year-old reached 499 on Tuesday with the opening goal against rivals Inter in the Coppa Italia, but he was later sent off in a 2-1 defeat.
Ibrahimovic should have netted the milestone goal in the first half against Bologna last weekend, only to miss a 26th-minute penalty, although Ante Rebic scored the rebound.
But the former Sweden striker’s moment came at San Siro when he played a one-two with Rafael Leao.
Ibrahimovic fed Leao on the edge of the box and the young Portuguese slotted a perfect return ball behind the Crotone defence for his veteran strike partner to drive into the far right corner, securing another milestone for one of the greatest goalscorers of the modern era.
MILAN’S MAIN MAN
Enjoying a fine second spell with Milan now at the age of 39, Ibrahimovic’s goals have fired Stefano Pioli’s side back into title contention.
The Rossoneri have not won the Scudetto since 2011 – in Ibrahimovic’s first stint at the club – and are without any silverware since the 2016 Supercoppa Italiana.
With Saturday’s strike, Ibrahimovic now has 15 goals in all competitions this term, including 13 in the league, swelling his Milan total to 82.
His 122 appearances are his most for any Italian club – having also represented Juventus and Inter – while this goal set Milan on course for a 71st victory with Ibrahimovic in the side.
500 – Zlatan #Ibrahimovic has scored his 500th goal with clubs, considering all competitions, including 82 for AC Milan – only with PSG (156) has he scored more goals. Giant. #SerieATIM #MilanCrotone pic.twitter.com/KrmwZItFdM
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) February 7, 2021
Ibrahimovic has been one of Italian football’s biggest names in the 21st century, but he has proven his worth worldwide between his spells in Serie A.
Indeed, the greatest share of his 500 goals came in the colours of Paris Saint-Germain, 156 in just 180 matches.
Ibrahimovic’s Inter tally of 66 is third on the list after his Milan haul, with LA Galaxy next after he netted a remarkable 52 goals in only 58 games.
As well as scoring 26 times for Juve, Ibrahimovic has plundered goals in the Netherlands (48 for Ajax), England (29 for Manchester United), Spain (22 for Barcelona) and his native Sweden (18 for Malmo).
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