x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Ibrahimovic off the mark

The Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores his first goal for the club as they open their Primera Liga campaign with a 3-0 win over Sporting Gijon at Camp Nou.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, second left, is congratulated by his Barca teammates after scoring his first goal for the club since his arrival from Inter Milan.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, second left, is congratulated by his Barca teammates after scoring his first goal for the club since his arrival from Inter Milan.

BARCELONA // The Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was delighted to score on his Primera Liga debut on Monday but said he still has some way to go to get back to full fitness after surgery on a hand injury. The Sweden international fractured a hand on a trip to the United States with former club Inter Milan and missed most of Barca's pre-season matches. He played the whole of their 3-0 win over Sporting Gijon at Camp Nou on Monday and scored the European and Spanish champions' third with an acrobatic header in the 82nd minute.

"I still don't feel 100 per cent but I am getting there bit by bit," he said in an interview on Barca TV. "I can't say that I will be ready tomorrow but little by little I am making progress and also getting to know the other players." The 27-year-old former Ajax player, who moved to Barcelona in a swap agreement with Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o, said his first goal for the club was key but it was more important that the club got three points in the opening match of their league campaign.

"The team played well and made things easy for me," he said. "I am very happy but without them it wouldn't have been possible." *Reuters