When Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined Ajax in 2001 he initially got very little playing time under the manager Co Adriaanse. When Adreaanse later was sacked from Ajax Ronald Koeman took over the manager role. Under Ronald Koeman Zlatan Ibrahimovic got a totally different role. Zlatan was not on the main players in Ajax and a regular in the starting lineup. Zlatan Ibrahimovic also greatly contributed to that Ajax won the 2001-2002 Eredivisie title. During this season Zlatan Ibrahimovic played a total of 24 games and scored 6 goals. Zlatan also had 4 assists and player 9 games in different cups.
In the 2002-2003 season Ibrahimovic was once again a starting player and got a lot of praise from both coaches and the media. In his Champions League debut that year he scored two goals in the 2-1 victory over Lyon who then were the French champions. In total Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored four goals in Champtions League. In the end Ajax was eliminated by Milan in the quarter finals. In the 2002-2003 season Zlatan player a total of 42 games for Ajax and scored 21 goals.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic continued the 2003-2004 season with playing 31 games and scoring 15 goals. In 2004 Zlatan scored a goal that later was voted the “Goal of the Year” by the Eurosport viewers.
In August 2004 Zlatan was involved in an incident with Rafael van der Vaart where Zlatan later was accused of injuring Rafael on purpose. This later led to a quick sale of Zlatan to Juventus on August 31th.
Ajax was the club where Zlatan got famous and well known to the wider croud in the world. Before this he was only a big name in Sweden.