Europe

Zlatan not worried by lack of goals

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Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has declared himself unconcerned by a goal drought that has seen him hit the net just once in two months.

Ibrahimovic enjoyed a flying start to his Barca career following his big-money summer switch from Inter Milan, and by Christmas he had already notched 11 goals in La Liga.

However, since scoring the only goal in Barca's derby win over Espanyol on December 12, the giant Swede has only found the back of the net once, during the Copa del Rey defeat to Sevilla at the start of January.

Ibrahimovic is not letting the situation get to him, though, and believes he is still contributing to his team's success in other ways.

"I'm not worried, this has happened to me other times. In my first year at Ajax I started very well, then things went bad, then well again... a rollercoaster," Ibrahimovic told El Periodico de Catalunya.

"It's normal, because you have to adapt to many things and in very little time. The same thing happened when I arrived at Juventus and at Inter, a season with ups and downs.

"Obviously, being the number nine and a centre-forward in a team like Barcelona, it's important to score goals, but that's not everything - at least not for me.

"If you participate in the play and set up team-mates, I feel just as good," added the 28-year-old, who has seven assists to his credit this term.

"An assist is like a goal, because you are making a team-mate happy. And this is as important for me as scoring.

"I'm not worried about this poor run because the goals will end up coming. If you play well, you help the team. If you create chances, you score."

Even without Ibrahimovic getting on the scoresheet, Barca have been unstoppable in recent weeks.

In their last six league and cup games they have picked up six wins, scored 16 goals and conceded just one - which came in the last minute of Saturday's 2-1 win over Getafe.

That form has helped Pep Guardiola's side open up a five-point gap over second-placed Real Madrid in La Liga, although they did also see the defence of their Copa del Rey title come to an end at the hands of Sevilla during that time as well despite winning the second leg of their last-16 tie.

Reflecting on his first six months with the Catalan club, Ibrahimovic said: "My family and I have adapted well, I'm happy here. We've picked up three titles in six months, we are at the top of the table and we haven't lost in the league.

"The team have won everything and want to continue like that. It's impressive.

"I only regret that what happened to us in the Copa del Rey. I think we deserved to go through because Sevilla are not better than us. But in football these things happen."

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