By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger watched Zlatan Ibrahimovic's wonder goal against England - and now understands why the Swede is said to be a kung-fu master.
Ibrahimovic stole the show in Stockholm on Wednesday, scoring an awesome foursome as Sweden beat Roy Hodgson's side 4-2 on the night Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson made his international debut.
Ibrahimovic saved his best for last - a spectacular overhead kick from nearly 30 yards. That goal demonstrated the physical and technical prowess of the Sweden striker and Wenger enjoyed it as much as anyone.
"I believe we are all amazed because, sometimes, when a guy has a shot from 30 yards and puts it in the top corner, you say ‘it’s a fantastic goal’ - but somehow you believe you can do that as well, even if you cannot do it on a consistent level.
"But when he scores a goal like that, you think it’s impossible for a normal athlete. You have to be an exceptional athlete to do that.
"They say he’s a master in kung fu. You could see that on Wednesday night. You need some special flexibility, subtleness and physical strength to do that, apart from the fact that you have to realise what you have to do.
"When [England goalkeeper Joe] Hart headed the ball, he took a distance to eventually get the ball. There’s intelligence included as well. I’m an admirer of collective goals, but as an individual achievement, just you and the ball in the situation of the game, it is something exceptional."
Ibrahimovic was on Arsenal's radar at the start of his career and Wenger explained why a potential move to London never materialised.
"He came here to visit the training ground," said the Frenchman. "He didn’t want to make a trial because he was 16 years old at the time. He went home and we concluded to watch him again.
"I wanted to see him in training but it didn’t stop him from making a great career. In the end, he chose to go to Ajax Amsterdam. That happens. He’s not the only one in that case.
"The confidence he shows… if a performance isn’t there you can say [that] you don’t agree with it, but when a performance is there, you think [that] his confidence is justified. Through his career, he has justified why he believes in his own talent."
Watch the full interview with Wenger on FridayCopyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source