UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Ibrahimović out to end hoodoo

Zlatan Ibrahimović is first to admit "I haven't performed my best against English teams" but he is determined to put that right when FC Barcelona meet Arsenal FC in north London.

Ibrahimović out to end hoodoo
Ibrahimović out to end hoodoo ©UEFA.com

In ten competitive matches against English opposition, Zlatan Ibrahimović has yet to find the net. It is a startling statistic for surely one of the most gifted strikers of his generation.

Having struck three times in as many games ahead of FC Barcelona's UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg at Arsenal FC, however, few would bet against Ibrahimović bringing that run to an end. And the 28-year-old is determined to tap into a rich vein of recent form in north London.

"I think I'm playing better now than earlier in the season," said the former FC Internazionale Milano forward. "But I don't think I'm at my best yet. Personally, I don't feel I have anything to prove. I have six league titles in the Netherlands and Italy. But I do feel I can do more and I want to do my talking on the pitch.

"I know I haven't performed my best against English teams, most recently when Manchester United played Inter. But that wasn't easy. In Italy, the team's focus is on preventing goals. Where I play now, it's more important to make the goals. It's a different way of playing and it's one that suits me better. I will try my best. We can discuss after the game whether it has gone well or not."

Much has been said of the sheer football spectacle that awaits when these two sides meet but Ibrahimović has not lost track of the fact that winning remains the ultimate benchmark in top-level competition. "When the draw was made and I saw we would play Arsenal, I said that the world will see two fantastic games," he said. "These are teams I like to watch, personally. But it's also very important to win titles, too. If teams like this play well, but don't win, people will criticise them. Our aim is always to do both."

Indeed, Ibrahimović believes the reigning champions will come out on top over the two matches. "Barça have won every tournament they have been involved in over the last year and we are expected to win wherever we go," he said. "I think we are the favourites because we are the European champions. We just have to be at our best because Arsenal are a fantastic team."