Zlatan Ibrahimovic can overtake Lionel Messi as 2016’s leading goalscorer with a brace against Middlesbrough on New Year’s eve.
The Swede, since joining in July, has netted 17 goals under Jose Mourinho and boasts a superb record of 11 goals in his last ten appearances in a red shirt.
He now sits on 50 goals for the calendar year, with Messi – who won’t play again until January 5 – currently leading the rankings with 51.
Ibrahimovic needs two more goals this weekend to secure his status as 2016’s top marksman (and just one to match Messi’s tally, of course).
Here are some of the players Zlatan has outscored this year: Luis Suarez, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski and Sergio Aguero.
And to think: pundits and the footballing world in general didn’t believe that the 35-year-old would deliver at Old Trafford. Too old, they said. Not quick enough, they said. Only capable of doing well in a subpar French league, they said.
17 goals later and such chatter has mysteriously disappeared into thin air. Even at the age of 35, Zlatan has what it takes to match – and, in some cases, completely eclipse – the finest attacking talents in the world today, and United fans will know that the big Swede is far from finished.