Leagues, Manchester United, Story, UEFA Champions League, Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Basel were by far the better side in the second half and their work was rewarded with a goal in the 89th minute.
Basel were by far the better side in the second half and their work was rewarded with a goal in the 89th minute.
Speaking exclusively to ESPN, Juan Mata discusses the monumental boost that Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba bring to Manchester United.
Jose Mourinho explains the role he envisions for Zlatan Ibrahimovic coming off the bench for Man United against Basel.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic became the first player to represent seven different clubs in the Champions League when he came on as a 74th-minute substitute for Manchester United in their 1-0 defeat to Basel on Wednesday.

It was the 36-year-old’s Champions League debut for United after helping them to win the Europa League last season.

The former Sweden international made his Champions League debut for Ajax and has gone on to play for Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.

Ibrahimovic made his Champions League debut on Sept. 17, 2002, for Ajax against Lyon, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win.

In total he has now scored 48 goals in the competition with 38 of them coming during the group stage. 

His most appearances and most goals come for PSG, for whom he scored 20 times in 38 appearances.

Although he has won league titles in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and France he has not won the Champions League. The furthest that he has advanced in the tournament was 2009-10, when he reached the semifinals with Barcelona but lost to Inter, one season after he left the Italian side.

Ibrahimovic’s appearance against Basel was only his second game back since returning from a knee ligament injury suffered during the Europa League quarterfinal victory against Anderlecht in April.

Speaking after making his comeback during the 4-1 Premier League win against Newcastle on Saturday, Ibrahimovic revealed he hid the true extent of his injury.

He said: “In my recovery, I have not rushed anything. I have been following protocol and my schedule day by day. The only secret has been working hard.

“Those close to me know what I have been doing — I was working five, six hours a day. When it happened I said giving up was not an option. I am very proud of the moment, and for everyone around me because I wouldn’t have done it alone.

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