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Nine Years Ago Today, Zlatan Ibrahimovic Single-Handedly Destroyed England

Ryan Sidle

Published 

Nine Years Ago Today, Zlatan Ibrahimovic Single-Handedly Destroyed England

Nine years years ago today England fans sang "You're just a sh*t Andy Carroll" at Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swede responded by scoring a 15 minute hat-trick which included one of the best goals you're likely to see.

On November 14th 2012 England played Sweden in a friendly to open a new stadium. The England squad on the night included six debutants aged from 17 to 31 with teenager Raheem Sterling and old man Leon Osman making their international bows.

Another man who made his debut off the bench was well and truly embarrassed by Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Ryan Shawcross came on with 74 minutes of the match gone. England were 2-1 up after Danny Welbeck and Steven Caulker had replied to Ibra's earlier opener.

Just three minutes later Sweden were level and in the 84th minute the Swede became the first man to score a hat-trick against England since Marco van Basten had taken the match ball home in 1988.

The best was to come though, with Ibrahimovic scoring a wonderful bicycle kick after Joe Hart decided to race off his line in an attempt to head the ball clear. Zlatan dared to Zlatan:

Steven Gerrard's 100th England cap was well and truly overshadowed, as were the debuts of Sterling, Osman, Shawcross, Caulker, Carl Jenkinson and Wilfried Zaha. That's a hell of a list of debutants for one night.

Shawcross' performance, or perhaps more specifically Zlatan's performance against him, meant the Stoke City centre back never picked up another cap for the national team.

Caulker's international ratio of 1 goal in 1 game in excellent. Image: PA Images
Caulker's international ratio of 1 goal in 1 game in excellent. Image: PA Images

Similarly Caulker never played for the national team again, despite getting a goal for the Three Lions on the night, and nor did Carl Jenkinson.

Osman played just once more, a World Cup qualifier against San Marino and Zaha went on to play for Ivory Coast.

Only Raheem Sterling, the youngest of the men making their first appearance for the national side, went on to have a proper career with England

It's fair to say it wasn't a great night for English football, in fact Zlatan pretty much destroyed careers on that night, Ibra really is gonna Ibra.

Topics: Joe Hart, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, England, Sweden

Ryan Sidle
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