Thursday September 4th, 2014

Zlatan Ibrahimovic does not lack titles. The Swedish striker has won league honors at nearly every club he has played for and has been the top scorer at many of those clubs. But as of Thursday, Ibra can add another title to his collection: all-time top scorer for the Swedish national team. 

Ibrahimovic's second goal in a friendly against Estonia on Thursday earned him that honor, as it was his 50th goal in 99 appearances with his national side. The record he broke was an old one: the previous top scorer, Sven Rydell, has held the record of 49 goals since 1932. 

Yet the record was broken in traditional Zlatan style: with a nifty back-heel, and jersey made specifically for the occasion. 

It was a nice finish for sure, but let's unpack that goal and celebration a little bit. First of all: Ibra scored and removed his Sweden jersey to reveal another Sweden jersey. Second: He had that jersey prepared for the inevitability that he would score two goals. Third: How great is that celebration jersey? From the "+" after the "50" to indicate that more is to come, to the "1." before "Ibrahimovic" to indicate his place in the record books, it's an incredibly detailed piece of celebratory work. 

However, Ibrahimovic got a yellow card for that celebration, which means that yes, that rule is still ridiculous. Ibrahimovic had just broken a 72-year-old record, and the front of the shirt said "You made it possible," presumably in reference to the fans that cheered him off with a rousing ovation after his substitution in the 65th minute at the Friends Arena in suburban Stockholm. Nothing even remotely offensive about the shirt, and nothing about the celebration itself delayed the restart of play beyond what any other normal goal celebration would do.  

Oh well. I guess if you're going to take a yellow card, might as well be for something historic. Congratulations, Zlatan. 

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