Zlatan Ibrahimovic has quickly turned into Manchester United’s talisman. Not only has he already scored 11 goals in 16 Premier League appearances, but in the last week alone he’s struck the match winners against both Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion.
The Swedish striker’s sterling performances have inspired Manchester United back into winning form, as they’ve now won three games on the trot for the first time since September. But since Zlatan Ibrahimovic is aged 35 there’s a slight feeling of melancholy that Manchester United didn’t sign up the Swedish striker when he was at a younger age.
Zlatan has looked to downplay such concerns though. Because after the match against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday afternoon, during which the gangly forward scored both of United’s goals to turn what could have been a difficult contest into a stroll in the park, Ibrahimovic insisted that he’s feeling so “happy” and “good” that not only does he feel like he’s a 20-year-old, but he declared that he could go on playing until he is 50.
According to the Daily Mirror, via Metro, Zlatan Ibrahimovic declared,
“I feel happy, I feel good. Even if I’m 35, in my mind I’m 20. I think I could play also at 50, but it won’t be down to me. The older I get, the better I get, like red wine! You like red wine? I’m a perfect example of that. The older I get, the better I play. I’ve played in different championships, in different countries, and you need to adapt your body to the game and the way it’s played here.”
These thoughts were echoed by Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, who after the contest spoke glowingly about Ibrahimovic. In fact, the Portuguese manager even compared his summer acquisition to Superman, as he explained that while he had originally planned to rest Ibrahimovic for Manchester United’s games in the Europa League his form, and United’s defeat in their first away game to Feyenoord, meant that he’s now become undroppable. During the press conference after Manchester United’s most recent victory Jose Mourinho remarked, via the Daily Mail,
“He is doing amazingly well. He’s Superman. I was expecting to give him more rest in the Europa League but we put ourselves in a difficult situation by losing our first game in Feyenoord. But it (the games he plays) is something we do together. We communicate, we talk about his situation and his feelings. Until now he is feeling great. He is not a normal player because he is in a position where he can’t hide. If you are an amazing central defender, you can play until you are older. But a striker cannot hide. He was important to us even in the period he was not scoring goals.”
At the moment Zlatan Ibrahimovic is looking like the buy of the season.
Especially because Manchester United didn’t actually pay anything for the forward, who left Paris Saint-Germain in the summer after four hugely successful seasons with the French giants, during which he became their all-time leading goalscorer with 156 goals in 180 competitive games.
However, the allure of the Premier League proved too much for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, especially after his old friend and previous manager Jose Mourinho was appointed at Manchester United. Ibrahimovic and Mourinho worked together at Inter Milan, during which time the duo became extremely close as the Swede revealed his strong respect and adulation for the former Porto, Chelsea, and Real Madrid coach.
However, neither Zlatan Ibrahimovic nor Jose Mourinho will be completely happy with Manchester United’s current predicament, as they’re down in sixth place on 30 points and are a whopping 13 points off league leaders Chelsea. They’ll have a chance to try and close this gap when they host Sunderland at Old Trafford on December 26.
[Featured Image by Getty Images/Stu Forster]