How many different clubs did Zlatan Ibrahimovic play for?

At the time of writing, in early June, 2023, Swedish former striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has recently announced his retirement from football, at the age of 41. Bidding farewell to AC Milan fans at the San Siro Stadium for the second time, he said, ‘I say goodbye to football, but not you’, adding, ‘The first time I came here you gave me happiness, the second time you gave me love.’ Aside from the Rossoneri (Italian for ‘Red and Blacks’), for whom he signed twice, at the end of the 2010/11 season and, again, in December, 2019, Ibrahimovic played for eight other different clubs, making a total of nine in all.

Born in Malmö, Sweden, to émigré parents, on October 3, 1981, ‘Ibra’ started his senior professional career with his hometown club, Malmö Fotbollförening, better known as Malmö FF, in 1999. In 2001, he joined Dutch club Ajax, with whom he spent three seasons, winning the Eredivisie in 2001/02. Following a €16 million to Juventus in 2004, Ibrahimovic also ‘won’ Serie A two years running, in 2004/05 and 2005/06, but ‘The Old Lady’ was subsequently stripped of those titles and demoted to Serie B for involvement in the match-fixng scandal known as ‘Calciopoli’. Nevertheless, three more, legitimate, Scudetto titles followed, during a first stint in Milan, with Internazionale, whom he joined in August, 2006.

In July, 2009, Ibrahimovic signed for Barcelona for €69.5 million but, a year later, was back in Milan, on loan to Associazione Calcio (AC), who he joined permanently twelve months later, after helping them to the 2010/11 Serie A title. He subsequently won three Ligue 1 titles in as many seasons with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and, after brief stints with Manchester United and LA Galaxy, returned to AC Milan, in January, 2020, for his swansong.

Who is the highest-scoring African player in the history of the UEFA Champions League?

Didier Drogba is the highest-scoring African player in the history of the UEFA Champions League, with 44 goals in 92 appearances. He scored goals for three different clubs in the competition: Marseille, Chelsea, and Galatasaray. He won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2012.

Drogba was a powerful and prolific striker who was known for his ability to score goals in big games. He was also a leader on and off the pitch, and he was a key figure in Chelsea’s success in the early 2010s.

Here are some of his most memorable Champions League moments:

  • In 2012, Drogba scored the winning goal in the UEFA Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

  • In 2010, Drogba scored the winning goal in the FA Cup final against Portsmouth.

  • In 2006, Drogba scored a hat-trick against Liverpool in the Premier League.

  • In 2005, Drogba scored the winning goal in the FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal.

  • Drogba is a true legend of African football, and he will be remembered for his incredible achievements on the pitch and his work off the pitch.

Here are some of his most impressive statistics in the Champions League:

  • He scored 10 goals in 12 appearances in the 2011-12 season, helping Chelsea win the title.

  • He scored 8 goals in 10 appearances in the 2009-10 season, helping Chelsea reach the final.

  • He scored 7 goals in 11 appearances in the 2007-08 season, helping Chelsea reach the semi-finals.

  • Drogba’s goalscoring record in the Champions League is simply incredible. He is a true legend of the competition, and he will be remembered as one of the greatest African players of all time.

Did Brazilian footballer Socrates once play non-league football in Britain?

Did Brazilian footballer Socrates once play non-league football in Britain?  To cut a long story short, yes, he did. In his heyday, Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira, or Sócrates for short, was considered one of the greatest attacking midfielders of all time. Standing 6’4″ tall, he was physically strong, lithe and athletic, technically gifted and able to pick a pass with either foot. Sócrates was also a prolific goalscorer, chalking up 22 goals in 60 appearances for Brazil, whom captained in the 1982 FIFA World Cup, and 172 goals in 297 appearance for Corinthians, of São Paulo, with whom he spent most of his club career.

So, I hear you ask, how did the one-time revered captain of the greatest team, Brazilian or otherwise, to never have won a World Cup end up plying his trade in the lower reaches of the English football pyramid, thousands of miles from his homeland? Well, Sócrates offically retired from ‘futebol-arte’ – the Portuguese term used to distinguish characteristic Brazilian football – in 1989 aged 35 but, bizarrely, was coaxed back again 15 years later.

In October, 2004, at the behest of Simon Clifford, owner and manager of Garford Town who, at that time, played in Division One of the semi-professional Northern Counties East Football League, Sócrates agreed to become unpaid player-coach for a period of one-month. Of course, Clifford was also founder of the Brazilian Soccer Schools franchise, through which he had become friendly with the former midfield maestro.

In any event, the Brazilian made just one, brief appearance, coming on an as substitute after 78 minutes of a home game against Tadcaster Albion at Wheatley Park on November 4, 2004, which ended in a 2-2 draw. Cutting a fuller figure than he had in his prime, Sócrates reportedly prepared for his debut in West Yorkshire by ‘drinking two bottles of Budweiser and smoking three cigarettes’. Old habits die hard, it seems.

How Did Arsenal Bottle the Premier League Title Race?

How Did Arsenal Bottle the Premier League Title Race?  Last season was an odd one for Arsenal fans. Most Premier League predictions had them down as outsiders for a spot in the top four before a ball was kicked. Once the season got underway though, the campaign went better than anyone thought it ever could have.

Mikel Arteta’s young Gunners found their footing early doors and the likes of talented winger Bukayo Saka and captain Martin Ødegaard saw the North London outfit become genuine title challengers. Despite being dumped out of the FA Cup by rival City, a 4-1 victory over Leeds United at the Emirates Stadium in April saw them go eight points clear of title rivals Manchester City at the Premier League’s summit. From there though, the wheels came off.

Inability To Cope With the Pressure

That victory against the Yorkshire outfit saw Arteta’s men become outright favourites for the trophy. Even if City won their game in hand on the league leaders and then beat them in the April clash between the two at the Etihad Stadium, Arsenal would have still held a two-point lead over their nearest rivals. Unfortunately for them, changing from outsiders to favourites saw the pressure amp up, and the gunners were unable to handle it.

In their next game, they raced into a two-goal lead against Liverpool at Anfield, but goals from Mohamed Salah and a last-gasp Roberto Firmino equaliser saw them throw away two points. They were then sitting pretty in a matchup against West Ham United at the London Stadium, leading by two goals to nil and in complete control. Finally, they inexplicably drew 3-3 at home to rock-bottom Southampton, meaning that they had to get a result at the Etihad in order to still have a chance at a first title in two decades. They were thumped in that crunch clash by four goals to one, and their title challenge had gone up in flames.

Engine Room Runs Out of Steam

A lack of dynamism was also to blame for the faltering title challenge. While Granit Xhaka was in the form of his life last term, the January addition of Jorginho didn’t work out as planned. This summer, Arsenal brought in England midfielder Declan Rice, a player who was praised for his leadership skills in a recent Emmanuel Petit interview. Should the Gunners feature prominently in the title race this term, then he may very well be enough to get them over the line.

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