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Zlatan Ibrahimovic: ''They Thought I Was Too Old, I Was 35 And I Made The Premier League Look Old''

Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened up about his astonishing career ahead of the launch of his new book
Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened up about his astonishing career ahead of the launch of his new book

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not a man who is prone to modesty.

The imposing striker has enjoyed an amazing career and shows no signs of slowing down - today linked with a short-term back to the Serie A with Inter Milan.

"I Am Football" is the typically bashful title of Ibrahimovic's new book which contains hundreds of photos detailing his time with the likes of Juventus and Sweden.

Talking to the BBC Radio 5live's Football Daily Podcast, Ibrahimovic talked about his brief but eventful stay in the Premier League with Manchester United and his close relationship with Jose Mourinho.

He said: "When I went to England I was talking to different players that I knew well and trusted that would give me an honest opinion. From all of them everyone said 'do not do it', they said it would not be good for my career because you put your whole career on one season.

"If you do not do a good season people will say the rest of the things you did before were useless because you didn't make it in England, but that triggered me and that's the challenge I wanted.

"I went against everyone and said that's what I wanted to do. They thought I was too old, I was 35 and I made the Premier League look old. It took me three months to convince everyone who I was. That was the challenge and I never turn down a challenge."

He spoke warmly about his time in Manchester and the players he left behind.  

"I miss all of them," he said. "I had a fantastic time at United, Wazza (Wayne Rooney), Michael Carrick, then the young guys that wanted to show the world who they are by playing football and they had a lot of hunger to show. I had a good time because I got to know everyone, I was the mature guy with all these guys who were not mature.

"Paul Pogba, I had never played with him before and I didn't know him as a person. We have the same management and when I got to know him I got to find a fantastic person and a fantastic footballer, but someone who needs to be guided.

"He is a professional guy that works every game and never misses training or a game. Those are all the things that people do not see, you only get judged by what you can see on television or the 90 minutes in the stadium, that's where you have to perform.

"When you click with someone it just clicks. The connection on the field was amazing, we helped each other very well, I needed him and he needed me. The first year at United we had a fantastic year.

"They made me feel like Benjamin Button. I was getting younger and younger, then, unfortunately, I got my injury.

"The Premier League should be happy I did not come 10 years ago because it would've been a different story. You see all my numbers (of goals) and all of these numbers would've been in the Premier League. I came to the right club in United. It was the club and the shirt that I was supposed to shine in and I did it."

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