Zlatan Ibrahimovic said he cannot be tamed, while the evergreen Milan star insisted he is ageing better than Benjamin Button.
Ibrahimovic has shown no signs of slowing down this season, despite the 39-year-old’s advancing years.
The former Manchester United, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain forward has scored 10 goals in six Serie A appearance in 2020-21 – a joint-high alongside Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and Inter’s Romelu Lukaku.
Ibrahimovic’s exploits have helped unbeaten Milan top the table in pursuit of their first Scudetto since 2010-11, the ex-Sweden international’s first spell at the club.
Asked who is less likely to be tamed, Zlatan or a lion, Ibrahimovic told UEFA.com: “Zlatan, 100 per cent.
“You can tame a lion, but you cannot tame Zlatan. It’s a different animal.”
When asked who is ageing better, Zlatan or Button – a fictional character – he replied: “I’m doing it better, because I’m living proof of it. Benjamin Button is just a made-up story.
“I’m the perfect profile for that movie. I’m doing the real movie, and Benjamin Button was a movie for the cinema.”
Me and my best friends pic.twitter.com/ukgC52DVWN
— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) December 14, 2020
“I’m 39 and with what I have done, I have no obligation to work anymore, but I still have this passion for what I’m doing,” Ibrahimovic continued. “I’m never satisfied, and I always want more.
“I don’t see a lot of players who are my age who were, or are, performing like I am doing. The moment a player goes above 30 is [meant to be] when they start to go down and they quit. Above 30 is when I started to become even better.
“I hear athletes from [the] US say that they spent more than one million [dollars] to keep their body in shape. I am 39. I am in shape. I perform at the highest level. I spend zero to stay in shape.
“The secret is not how much you spend, the secret is in your head – how much you want it, how much you’re willing to sacrifice. That is the secret. It’s the mentality and mentality doesn’t cost anything.”
Ibrahimovic added: “I would like to have the brain of Zlatan in a 25-year-old body! I get tired faster now, compared to when I was younger. I’m sleeping a lot because I need to recover more.
“Let’s say after the games, before it probably took me one day to recover and to feel good and really fresh. Now I need between two and three days, which is normal for the age that I am.
“And as long as I can perform, I will play at a high level. The day I stop performing, I will not play anymore because I need to feel alive. I need to feel I give something back.
“I don’t want to have any advantages because I am 39 and they say ‘hey, you slow down’ and that. No, I want you to consider me on the world-class level and compare me to everybody else, because then I push myself even more.”
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