Pitchside Europe

European Team of the Week: Zlatan and the Premiers

The latest European dream footballing XI is an interesting one, in light of a controversy in the press surrounding Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The Swedish superstar guaranteed a spot up front in Opta's statistical XI of the best weekend performers across the continent by netting a hat-trick in Paris Saint-Germain's 4-2 Ligue 1 win at Toulouse.

The Daily Mirror reported that Ibra claimed he would have "destroyed" the Premier League had he ever moved to England, amid claims he turned down a trial at Arsenal because "Zlatan does not do auditions".

Ibrahimovic lambasted the paper via Twitter for seemingly making up the quotes - something he says isn't a first for him when it comes to the "joke" Mirror, and something the paper has already been accused of earlier this season when it came to Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus:

Nonetheless, regardless of the tabloid's seemingly-magic ability to conjure up quotes from thin air, the prospect of Ibrahimovic alongside other top Prem stars is a mouthwatering one.

And the European Team of the Week for February 21-23 digs deeper into this fantasy scenario, with no less than FIVE members of England's top flight joining him in the all-star side, including a Liverpool strike partner in the form of Daniel Sturridge.

For a full explanation of each player's inclusion, see Opta's stats below the team graphic...

click to enlarge