Zlatan Ibrahimovic signed for Manchester United in the summer of 2016 and went on to score 28 goals in all competitions. His season ended with a potentially career ending injury though, leading him to move on to MLS club LA Galaxy.
However, despite such a limited time playing for United, the Swede has claimed in an interview with FourFourTwo that he is proud that he represented the club and was able to answer the critics that claimed he wouldn’t cut it at his age.
I’m super proud and super happy that I went to United – it was the right club. We won, and I did what I did before I got injured. I had an excellent time – great memories. I’m attached to United forever. The supporters are amazing: wherever I went, I saw red shirts, which was fantastic. It’s a very important moment in my career.
As I said when I was in England, you’re lucky I didn’t come 10 years ago, because if I did what I did at 35 years old, imagine it if I was 25. Then it would have been a different story. I came there and they said I came in a wheelchair. All the people that talked, in the whole Premier League, I put them in a wheelchair. That’s what I did.
Ibrahimovic saw the Premier League as a challenge he wanted to overcome, regardless of his age, and was motivated to prove people wrong when they said he was too old.
I’d had a long career before I came – different kinds of countries, different kinds of clubs. People said, ‘You don’t need to go to England, because if you fail in England, people will always say you weren’t good enough’. Everybody was against it. And guess what? That made me motivated. That gave me adrenaline.
I liked the Premier League. I found it very motivating and very exciting. It gets a lot of attention, although I feel the quality is a little bit overrated – the individual quality, the technical part. But the rhythm is high. Even if you are the best, if you can’t handle the rhythm, the pace, then you will not succeed, because the pace is very high.
He has since taken the MLS by storm, scoring 22 goals in 27 appearances in his first season.