The irrepressible Zlatan Ibrahimović continues to astound pundits following his 40th birthday in October 2021.
The legendary Sweden striker has scored over 570 career goals, including more than 500 club goals, and has scored in each of the last four decades. He currently plays for AC Milan, with a contract signed until the summer of 2021.
Here’s a rundown with some of the best Zlatan Ibrahimović cards, as well as considering their viability as a long-term investment option.
The Best Zlatan Ibrahimović Cards
The majority of Ibrahimović’s best cards were released just after the turn of the century.
5. 2003 Campioni Di Futuro Zlatan Ibrahimovic #19 (eBay)
Take the 2003 Campioni Di Futuro set. As the name implies, it’s a multi-sport collection of young stars deemed to be Future Champions, including the likes of Vitali Klitschko (boxing) and LeBron James (basketball).
It features a profile shot of a young Ibra set against a red background, with a design reminiscent of old baseball cards from the turn of the century. The reverse is also basic, listing nothing aside from a logo and the card number.
4. 2002 Panini World Cup Sticker Zlatan Ibrahimovic RC #456 (eBay)
Next up is an RC from the 2002 Panini World Cup Sticker set. (It’s true that cards are generally preferred to stickers, but it’s worth making an exception this time.)
2002 WC versions will have either a blue or black reverse, and both are especially rare if you’re looking for gem mint graded versions.
The tournament hasn’t been kind to the player, as Zlatan has never scored a goal in the World Cup finals despite bagging six in European Championships.
Regardless, it’s still one of his better collectibles in a Sweden shirt.
3. 2006 Panini World Cup Soccer Zlatan Ibrahimovic #177 (eBay)
Another rare Zlatan WC collectible is found in the 2006 Panini World Cup Germany set. At the current time of writing, there are 107 PSA 9s, and just 48 that have received a 10 grade.
The card is especially condition-sensitive due to the gold foil finish, which covers almost every inch of the surface.
It’s still one of the more affordable cards to make the list unless you’re looking at pristine copies.
2. 2006 Panini World Cup Candy Album Panel Ronaldo Beckham Ibrahimovic (eBay)
This means that it’s highly collectible, as Ibra is joined by two of the most recognisable footballers of all-time.
The stickers are perforated, as they were meant to be separated for the album. This means that there aren’t many in the present day, and PSA 10 copies will sell for at least four figures.
1. 2000 Panini Fotboll Allsvenskan Zlatan Ibrahimovic RC #253 (eBay)
On the subject of rare Zlatan stickers, the 2000 Panini Fotboll Allsvenskan set contains the earliest collectible to feature the striker.
It was released way back in 2000, a year after the player joined the first team of Malmö in Sweden. He went on to score 16 goals in 40 league appearances before joining Ajax. The sticker features a simple profile shot with a bright yellow background.
Graded versions are especially rare, and they don’t come up for sale often.
Zlatan Ibrahimović Cards: Buyers Guide
Here are our thoughts about the current state of the market for Ibra cards and stickers.
The Best Cheap Zlatan Ibrahimović Cards
Many of the collectibles found above are relatively cheap when looking at lower grades, and the same goes for ungraded versions. We’d opt for the 2002 Panini World Cup Sticker RC, as it’s his first in a Sweden shirt.
The Best Zlatan Ibrahimović Cards
If you’re solely looking at rookie options, you can’t go wrong with the 2000 Panini Fotboll Allsvenskan sticker. It’s his earliest collectible by a decent margin, although it may be difficult to locate given the overall scarcity.
Along with the Ronaldo/Beckham sticker, they represent the collectibles that we think have the best potential.
Zlatan Ibrahimović Cards: Buying/Selling Advice
Ibrahimović is arguably the best striker of the last decade not named Cristiano or Lionel. This is evidenced by his sheer longevity, although time is running short for the maverick forward.
“We’ll see what Zlatan wants to do in June. He always decides year by year, there’s no rush. For sure, the day he won’t feel as a key player for the team, Ibra will retire and start a new chapter as club director.”
Recurring injuries have also started to play a role in recent years, as he was ruled out of Euro 2020, and the start of the 2021/22 season. Hopefully it doesn’t become a recurring theme, because he still has the ability to score goals at the highest level for a few more years.
When he retires, we expect the prices of his best cards to increase rapidly. Therefore, we’d hold from selling for the time being if possible.