Manchester United’s dismal 3-1 defeat to Watford on Sunday marked Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s 800th game in football. His goals are legend, but so are his words. Here are some of his best and the events behind them.
You can’t replicate Zlatan
Want to be Zlatan on the new and upcoming FIFA 17? Tough. Even computers can’t be programmed to simulate Zlatan’s brilliance.
“I don’t think that you can score as spectacular a goal as those of Zlatan in a video game – even though these games are very realistic these days.”
Criticise Zlatan at your peril
Back in 2002, former Norway, Aston Villa and Stoke striker John Carew made the perfectly reasonable comments to Norwegian tabloid VG that Ibrahimovic squanders possession too easily with needless flicks and extravogant flicks. Naturally, Zlatan had a response…
“What Carew does with a football, I can do with an orange.”
Everyone wants a piece of Zlatan
After a 2003 derby defeat to PSV, Ajax team-mates Ibrahimovic and Mido found themselves in an extraordinary spat as Zlatan raged at the former Spurs striker for not passing to him on the pitch.
“I was very upset I didn’t start that game,” explained Mido. “When I came on, we were 2-0 down, I think, and I started arguing with Zlatan on the pitch.
“I was shouting at everyone and Zlatan was shouting back at me. [After the game] I had scissors in my hand as I was taking off the wrapping on my ankles.”
Ibrahimovic picks up the tale. What did the coach do to try and difuse the argument between two big egos?
“Mido picked up a pair of scissors and flung them at me. It was completely nuts. The scissors whizzed past my head, straight into the concrete wall and made a crack in it.
I went over and gave him a smack, but 10 minutes later we left with our arms around each other. Much later I discovered our team manager had kept those scissors as a souvenir, to show his kids.”
Cancel international football
The World Cup. Surely the pinnacle of the footballing callandar and pretty much the whole point of international football in general.
Well, bad news folks. Zlatan has rendered the whole thing pointless with his post-Euro 2016 retirement.
“One thing is for sure, a World Cup without me is nothing to watch so it is not worthwhile to wait for the World Cup.”
Zlatan IS philosophy
It’s certainly no secret that Ibrahimovic does not care for Man City boss Pep Guardiola.
It’s probably just best to put it down to a simple clash of personalities, but for someone so happy to give us a memorable quote or two, he’s not quite so respectful to non-Zlatan approved philosophy.
“Then Guardiola started his philosopher thing. I was barely listening. Why would I? It was advanced bullshit about blood, sweat and tears, that kind of stuff.”