Zlatan Ibrahimovic has not played in a European final since he began his domination in football in the late 1990s. But the Swedish player achieved his first Europa League title on Wednesday as Manchester United beat Ajax 2-0 in the final.
Goals from Paul Pogba and Henrik Mkhitaryan in each half gave the Red Devils their first Europa League crown and the first European trophy since 2008.
It was a special victory for the players, club and the coach two days after the city of the Old Trafford was a target of terrorist attack that claimed 22 lives, including those of children in a concert at Manchester Arena.
Ibrahimovic has been critical in United’s campaign, having scored 28 goals across all competitions. Despite a successful career, he has never played in a European final before.
As a player for Ajax, where Ibrahimovic came in the limelight, he could only reach the Europa League second round in 2002. Not having played at all in the Europa League for 15 years after that, Ibrahimovic would be thrilled to see his side not only reaching the final but also clinching the title, which becomes his first in the European tournament.
As the Red Devils did not play in the Champions League this season, it comes as a relief to the 35-year-old that the victory in the Europa League booked them a place in the next season’s Champions League. Ibrahimovic has reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League in his last four years with PSG.
He has been out since last month after he sustained a serious knee injury in the quarterfinal match against Anderlecht.