The guardian: special partners
Gianluigi Buffon and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have gone head-to-head for almost a decade, and one after another have been sickened. But, from 2004 to 2006, they shared the same locker room at Juventus Turin. An adventure that came to an end after the descent of the Old Lady, combined with the departure of the Swede for Inter Milan.
The competition between these two champions lasted until the announcement of their retirement, when we wondered which of the two was going to stop first. The Swede flinched first. Buffon, 45, has found his first love, Parma (Serie B) with whom he has just lost the play-offs to access Serie A.
Defense: Italian marking
In Turin, he also tasted the defensive rigor of Lilian Thuram and of Fabio Cannavaro. Two insanely rigorous world champions who have certainly toughened him up.
From left to right, Fabio Cannavaro, Lilian Thuram and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. (P. Lahalle/The Team)
To complete the axis, Thiago Silva, with whom the Swedish giant (1.95m) played first in Milan, then at Paris-SG. Both transferred to the French capital in the summer of 2012, they crushed Ligue 1, winning the Championship indisputably during their four years together in Paris.
To occupy the right lane, maicon, crossed by Ibrahimovic at Inter. The Brazilian has expanded his record alongside the Swede. Between 2006 and 2009 they won together 3 Championships, 2 Supercups and an Italian Cup.
His counterpart on the left side is a compatriot of Maicon and a longtime friend of Ibra. From Ajax to Paris via Barcelona and Milan, Maxwell accompanied Zlatan for a large part of his career, to the point of becoming a true friend off the pitch. “To have had this opportunity to play with a friend for many years is very rare at the highest level, recently confided Maxwell on Canal +. We had the opportunity to know each other young at Ajax, he came from Sweden and I from Brazil, with lots of dreams. Sharing eleven seasons with him was a unique opportunity.”.
From left to right, Thiago Silva, Thiago Motta, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Maxwell and Adrien Rabiot. (P. Lahalle/The Team)
The environment: friendship, elegance and respect
Arrived at 19 at Paris-SG, Marco Verratti rubbed shoulders with Ibrahimovic for 4 years. The Swede took under his wing the young Italian, who has now become an emblematic figure of the capital club, and who has fond memories of his former captain. “I think he helped the club grow. He’s a great player, sometimes very tough, but he really thinks about the teamremembered Verratti. Thanks to him, we felt that we always had to give the best. That’s also why he’s a great footballer. Players with the profile of Ibra, there are not many. On his own, he was worth five or six players, because he did everything. »
As accomplices as lodgers, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic found each other well. They won the Europa League together in 2017 with Manchester United thanks to a goal from the Frenchman in the final (2-0 against Ajax). The two players shared the same agent at the time, Mino Raiola. Ibra had threatened him with “break the legs” if he tried to sell Pogba.
After Cannavaro, another Ballon d’Or slips into the eleven. The 2003 Ballon d’Or, Pavel Nedvedwas not forgotten by Ibrahimovic when he himself realized his eleven type of the players he played with for PSG social networks. “It’s a machine” he declared with regard to the Czech.
The attack: between finesse and efficiency
Author of 171 goals in more than 300 matches with Juventus, David Trezeguet is one of the great players who crossed paths with Ibrahimovic. The 1998 world champion and the Swede rubbed shoulders at Juventus.
To support Trezeguet, the Portuguese rafael leao should largely do the trick. With 11 goals and 10 ists in 34 Championship matches, the former Lille player greatly contributed to the league title won by AC Milan in 2022, Ibrahimovic’s last.