ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC created European history in Sweden’s Euro qualifier with Belgium – but he ended up being upstaged by former Manchester United team-mate Romelu Luaku.
The Swede became the oldest player to feature in European Championship qualifiers on Friday night – breaking Dino Zoff’s 30-year record.
But Ibra, aged 41 years and 172 days old, had the headlines stolen from him by Belgium’s Lukaku in Stockholm.
Lukaku, 29, hit a superb hat-trick at the Friends Arena to Domenico Tedesco’s men to second place in Group F, behind Marcel Sabitzer-inspired Austria.
Ibrahimovic, who last week became the oldest scorer ever in Serie A for AC Milan, was thrown in off the bench after 73 minutes with his side two goals behind.
And those goals both came from Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea at Inter Milan, with his 69th and 70th goals for the Red Devils.
And late on he took that tally to 71 to hand new coach Domenico Tedesco a huge win in his first game in charge.
Former Manchester United forward Lukaku was set up for both his first in the 35th minute and second four minutes after the break by Dodi Lukebakio.
Ibrahimovic’s introduction was greeted by the biggest roar of the night by the 50,000 Friends Arena crowd as he replaced Newcastle’s Alexander Isak in the 73rd minute.
Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne, with the armband as Belgium captain, found Yannick Carrasco at the far post – but his shot was deflected away for a corner.
After 14 minutes, Tottenham’s Dejan Kulusevski came within millimetres of giving Sweden the lead after his shot squirmed past Thibault Courtois.
But with the home players and fans screaming that the ball had crossed the line, Leicester’s Wout Faes cleared just in time with Israeli referee Orel Grinfeld waving away the protests.
Belgium then went close as a header from Arthur Theate was tipped over the bar by Aston Villa’s Robin Olsen.
But the Red Devils took the lead after 35 mins. Hertha Berlin winger Lukebakio had been Belgium’s best player in the first half.
And he put in a superb cross from which Lukaku rose to score – even if the goal appeared to graze his shoulder on the way in.
And just four minutes after the break the same devastating double-act did it again for Belgium.
Lukebakio tricked his way along the goalline with a burst of pace, and from his fiercely-driven cross Lukaku got the vital touch from a yard out.
The appearance of Ibrahimovic gave the home support brief cheer – but the respite was brief as Lukaku tapped in after brilliant work from substitute Johan Bakayoko with seven minutes left.