Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a deity and not only in his own believing.
The Swedish striker has gone through an incredible journey as a son to Bosnian immigrant parents, who struggled to find his way in the world. Football offered him a route into the alternate reality, the one he took by the reins straight from the beginning.
Often branded arrogant and conceited, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is everything others would like to be.
Whatever he sets his mind to he succeeds and the 2016/17 season in Manchester United was just the latest proof. Hitting the Premier League stage can be difficult for footballers in their prime, and the public widely expected that a 35-year-old veteran would struggle to adapt to such a physically demanding league.
Ibrahimovic promised he will deliver, and he did as the Swedish striker singlehandedly won Manchester United their 42nd major trophy ever as he scored a brace to crush Southampton in the EFL Cup final.
“It’s my second trophy with the club and after seven months we have two trophies so I am happy. This is why I came. I came to win and I am winning, it is all about bringing the club to where it belongs and that is winning trophies”, Ibrahimovic said after the game.
Asked whether anything could be more special than the trophy, Ibrahimovic had the perfect Ibrahimovic-style response.
“Special? What could be more special than this trophy? I came. That’s special”, he added.
This last line inspired us to dig deep into Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s past and to find some of the similar things he said, the top 10 quotes from the Swedish striker that will be remembered forever.
One of Zlatan’s most recognizable quotes came at the beginning of his career, when he was invited by Arsene Wenger on trial. His answer was perfect.
“Zlatan doesn’t do auditions”
Ibrahimovic’s feud with Pep Guardiola is well-documented and so is the perfect explanation of everything that went wrong between him and current Manchester City manager during their time at Barcelona.
“When you buy me, you are buying a Ferrari. If you drive a Ferrari you put premium petrol in the tank, you hit the motorway and you step on the gas. [Pep] Guardiola filled up with diesel and took a spin in the countryside. He should have bought a Fiat.”
Zlatan always had a special relationship with Jose Mourinho and the comparison he made between Guardiola and his manager at Manchester United will be remembered for a long time.
“[Jose] Mourinho is Guardiola’s opposite. If Mourinho brightens up the room, Guardiola pulls down the curtains and I guessed that Guardiola now tried to measure himself with him.”
One of his first interviews after the Ligue 1 move back in 2012, when he joined Paris Saint-Germain was priceless.
“It’s true I don’t know much about the players here, but they definitely know who I am”
Having been accused that he injured Rafael van der Vaart on purpose, Zlatan Ibrahimovic sent a memorable message to the Dutch midfielder.
“I didn’t injure you on purpose and you know that. If you accuse me again I’ll break both your legs, and that time it will be on purpose.”
In response to criticism he was subjected throughout his career and some bad names he had been given since boyhood age, Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s retaliation comes via football.
“People trashtalk me. I’ve heard so much s— over the years: ‘F—ing gypsy’, stuff about my mum — all that stuff. I retaliate with my body, not with words.”
Ibrahimovic will be remembered as a striker who scored many brilliant goals during his career, but the Premier league fans will forever remember that goal against England in 2012. Asked to comment on the wonder-goal, Zlatan had a brilliant response.
“You can’t coach brilliance like that”
It was not once that Ibrahimovic spoke about himself as God. We still remember his famous exchange with a reporter ahead of the 2014 World Cup qualifying playoffs.
Zlatan: “Only God knows who will go through”
Reporter: “It’s hard to ask him”
Zlatan: “You’re talking to him”
And of course, there was that response of his to “King” Eric Cantona’s comments that Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be the prince of Manchester:
“I won’t be the King of Manchester, I will be the God of Manchester”
And what better way to conclude the list that could go on forever, to be honest, than by sharing a laugh together with Zlatan.
“I can’t help but laugh at how perfect I am”
And we can’t help but agree with him on the issue.
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