Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho revealed he teased Zlatan Ibrahimovic into a move to the Premier League giants.
Ibrahimovic, 34, joined United on a one-year deal after four successful seasons with Paris Saint-Germain.
The Swedish striker added four Ligue 1 titles to his domestic league crowns in Spain, Italy and Netherlands.
However, Mourinho said he compared his own success to Ibrahimovic’s – and it may have been crucial in getting the former Barcelona and Inter star to the club.
“Let’s be honest, he’s very rich. He’s made money all his career, he’s won a lot of things, you only come to the most difficult championship in the world if you feel you can do it,” Mourinho said.
“If you don’t feel you can do it you go to America, China, stay in the French league one more season. So the guy wanted this one more challenge.
“When I told him that I had won in England, Spain and Italy and he hadn’t, that he’d done Spain, Italy and France, he thought: ‘Ahh, I want to go. I want to win every one.’ So his motivation is high.
“His body is amazing. On Sunday he is going to start a specific programme we have prepared before he joins our group on the Thursday so he has five days just for him.
“So I expect he is going to be very good for us.”
Ibrahimovic turns 35 in October and was left out of United’s pre-season tour of China, given extra time to rest.
But Mourinho has no doubt the striker’s fitness will hold up during a gruelling Premier League campaign.
“I always think there’s our age in ID terms but then there’s our real age because for me the real age is not the age on your ID. That’s just a date when you were born,” he said.
“The real age, the real ID is your body, your brain, your attitude and this guy is young, his body is amazing.”
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