Here’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic being the most entertaining player in the world. Again.

1 Comment

This isn’t close to being the best goal he’s scored this year. It’s just the best goal he’s scored this winter, which is only one day old.

Ellie Arroway has no words.

Of course, here is the actual goal:

Granted, it’s the only goal he’s scored this winter, but with Ibrahimovic, you never know when a try like the first will go in. As was pointed out when he scored against England, the audacity of the attempt alone is to be admired.

Even as we become increasingly used to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s special effects, it’s impossible to grow tired of them. And it’s impossible to be sanguine about somebody who can Nigel de Jong a goalkeeper one week only to overshadow it with headlines of “Ibrahimovic completes four-goal day with 30-yard bicycle kick.”

Just think about the insanity of that headline. It’s practically passive. The bicycle kick is overshadowing a four-goal day. Nobody does that.

MORE: Lionel Messi scores a more conventional Playstation goal

He may merely be one of the best players in the world, but at this point, there’s little doubt Ibrahimovic is the most entertaining. From the litany of chances he sets up for his teammates, to his dominance of Paris Saint-Germain’s attack, to an 18-goal haul that has turned Ligue 1‘s goal scoring race into Serie A, Ibrahimovic has made PSG (and by extension, France) into must see soccer TV.

It’s part of the reason you don’t hear more complaints from France about PSG’s open wallet. Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulus has articulated this best, but there is a feeling from other clubs that the Parisians are capable of lifting the whole league. Teams like Lyon and Marseille just have to figure out new ways to keep up as PSG, thanks to acquisitions like Ibrahimovic’s, raise the profile of the entire circuit.

Just consider how often you’re heard about PSG since Ibrahimovic moved from Milan. Thanks to “Ibra,” PSG is a constant feature on this blog. Granted, we did cover France last year, but the coverage has been amped up. Last week, there was both preview and post-match coverage of PSG-Lyon. If Ibrahimovic wasn’t involved, the coverage may have looked more like this morning’s Arsenal analysis.

MORE: Late Barry goal saves Manchester City

Ibrahimovic is the most entertaining player in the world. It’s not even close, and given his goal against England came too late to qualify for this year’s Puskas Award, I propose we create an award, nominate one player, and throw a huge party so we can listen to Zlatan Ibrahimovic talk about how is by far the most entertaining player on the planet.

Because after yesterday’s almost-goal, I’m willing to listen. To all his ideas. Forever.

Oh: PSG went on to beat Brest 3-0, they have a five-match winning streak, and Carlo Ancelotti’s probably not going to be fired.

Marco Verratti crushes teammates in PSG ultimatum

Getty Images
Leave a comment

When asked if he wants to leave Paris Saint-Germain, Marco Verratti gave an answer sure to turn the heads of his teammates in the French capital.

Transfer rumors have swirled around the Italian midfielder all summer, and he finally addressed the situation in Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport. When asked if he wanted to leave, Verratti said he’d like to stay, but if he is to do so, the club must come through in the transfer window.

“It’s not that I want to go at all costs,” Verratti said. “It’s just I want to see if they really do build a great squad this time. In that case, I would be happy to stay.”

“Each year they say they are going to build a great squad, but we’ve seen the results. Promises are not enough. If, on the other hand, this time PSG with [sporting director Antero] Henrique stick to what they say, then I will be absolutely happy to stay. At the end of the day, nobody is forcing me to leave.”

It’s one thing for a player to say he thinks the club needs reinforcements in the summer, but Veratti goes all in here. For the Italian to claim that promises had been broken and good players were not brought in, that’s a ruthless aside to his current teammates.

Media reports have linked Verratti with a move away from Parc de Princes all summer. The 24-year-old has been most heavily linked with Barcelona, although clubs like Bayern Munich and Chelsea have been mentioned. According to a number of reports, Verratti turned down a new PSG contract as recently as last week in a meeting with the sporting director.

MLS Snapshot: Houston Dynamo 1-1 FC Dallas (video)

Twitter/@dynamotheory
Leave a comment

The game in 100 words (or less): It ended scoreless when the two sides met for the first time this season, and although there were goals in this one, it finished with the same outcome. The Dynamo and Dallas remain equal on points following the draw, with each team boasting 25 at the midway point through the MLS campaign. Goals from Erick “Cubo’ Torres and Maxi Urruti cancelled one another out at BBVA Compass Stadium, but it was the Dallas that had more of the chances in the match. The Dynamo remain one of the top sides in MLS at home, boasting a record of 7-0-2 in their opening nine matches in Houston.

Three two moments that mattered

19′ — Torres makes it 11 on the year! — Give Erick Torres an inch this season… Well, you know the rest of the saying…

59′ — Urruti makes Dynamo pay for missed chance on other end — The Dynamo were so close to making it 2-0 just a minute sooner, but Maxi Urruti had other plans for the visitors.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Maxi Urruti

Goalscorers: Erick Torres (19′), Maxi Urruti (59′)

MLS Snapshot: Toronto FC 2-0 New England Revolution (video)

Twitter/@TSN_Sports
Leave a comment

The game in 100 words (or less): Toronto FC was without some of its regulars on Friday night, but that didn’t matter much as Greg Vanney’s side avenged their loss to the Revolution from two weeks ago. Coming off of just two days’ rest, TFC continued its push towards an Eastern Conference title at BMO Field behind Drew Moor’s first goal of the season. Sebastian Giovinco was held in check most of the evening, but the Italian scorer did what he does best in the final minute of stoppage time to seal it for the home side with his seventh goal of the year. The Revs pushed and pushed during the second half for an equalizer but TFC’s resilience defensively proved superior as they kept the visitors off the scoreboard for their eighth shutout of 2017.

Three moments that mattered

11′ — Moor taps in for early Toronto advantage — Even on two days’ rest Toronto looks like this…

57′ — Cheeky Nguyen keeps Revs in match — Lee Nguyen is typically known for his creativity in the offensive half but it was this clever play defensively that kept the Revolution down just one goal.

83′ — Kamara comes so close! — It’s just not meant to be on the night for the Revs.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Alex Bono

Goalscorers: Drew Moor (11′), Sebastian Giovinco (90+6′)

Video: Orlando City product scores crazy bicycle kick

Twitter/@ussoccer_ynt
Leave a comment

Goals like this one below never grow old.

Orlando City academy product Alejandro Pereira scored a brilliant bicycle kick for his Under-17/18 side in their 2-0 win on Thursday night during the U.S. Soccer Development Academy playoffs.

Orlando will continue its path in the Academy Playoffs on Saturday when they face off against Players Development Academy (PDA) U-17/18, before meeting Indiana Fire U-17/18 on Monday.