In Depth

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s best quotes: Planet Zlatan, PSG, Pogba, Pep and the Premier League

Swedish superstar has come up with more corkers on the BBC’s Football Daily podcast

He may be best known for his amazing footballing skills but star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is also renowned for his many memorable comments.

During his near two-decade career, the 37-year-old has played for some of the biggest clubs in the world and broken records on the international stage for Sweden.

Now competing in Major League Soccer for LA Galaxy, the former Manchester United star has told the BBC about his goals, teammates, injuries and life in California.

Here we look at the highlights from his interview on BBC Radio 5 live podcast Football Daily.  

On ‘Planet Zlatan’

“I came from my own planet, with something that no one has seen. I’m a guy from this area that they think is the ghetto. They saw me differently, they did not make me feel welcome, they did not make me feel like everyone else, but I came with something else and now they follow that. I came from my own planet - Planet Zlatan.”

His pal Paul Pogba

“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 [Manchester] 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.”

Premier League perfection

“The Premier League should be happy I did not come ten 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.”

His knee injury at United in April 2017

“When it happened I did not understand what I was going through, I had never had a serious injury. I was like Superman, I was unbreakable and no one could break me, only Zlatan could injure Zlatan.”

Life in Los Angeles

“We [Ibrahimovic and his wife] had talked about it and she said one day I would like to see how it is to live in LA, that was one of the many factors when I chose LA. LA did not choose me, I chose LA.”

Other memorable Ibrahimovic quotes

Turning down a trial with Arsenal in 2000

“I was like, ‘No way, Zlatan doesn’t do auditions.’ I thought, ‘You either know me or you don’t and if you don’t know me you can’t really want me.’”

Sweden’s elimination from World Cup 2014 

“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.”

His versatility

“I can play in the 11 positions because a good player can play anywhere.”

Former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola

“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.”

“Guardiola was staring at me and I lost it. I thought ‘there is my enemy, scratching his bald head!’. I yelled to him: ‘You have no balls!’ and probably worse things than that.”

Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho

“Mourinho is Guardiola’s opposite. If Mourinho brightens up the room, Guardiola pulls down the curtains and I guessed that Guardiola now tried to measure himself with him.”

Playing at Paris Saint-Germain

“I came like a hero, left like a legend.”

Eric ‘King’ Cantona

“I admire Cantona and I heard what he said. But I won’t be King of Manchester. I will be God of Manchester.”

Like a lion

“I’m an animal. I feel like a lion. I don’t want to be a lion, I am a lion... The lion is born a lion - it means I’m a lion.”

UFC star Conor McGregor

“He is the Ibrahimovic of martial arts… and I’m the McGregor of the football world.”

Former PSG teammate David Beckham

“We were looking through his playlist in the dressing room - there was lots of Justin Bieber, Jonas Brothers and Selena Gomez. It is nice to know that even David Beckham doesn’t have good taste in everything.”

Future greatness

“I think I’m like wine. The older I get, the better I get.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic resigns for Man Utd

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s career

  • Age: 37 
  • Nationality: Swedish 
  • Position: Striker 
  • Current club: LA Galaxy 
  • Previous clubs: Malmo, Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United 
  • Trophies won: 25 
  • International career: 62 goals and 116 caps for Sweden (his country’s all-time leading scorer) 
  • Did you know? As a 17-year-old he earned a black belt in taekwondo

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