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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019

'I had years of everybody saying I wasn’t good enough and all this bull***t'

Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he was written off by people in English football before joining Man United.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (file pic).
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (file pic).
Image: Dan Mullan

ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC SAYS it took just three months for him to turn his “haters” into “fans” and eradicate the “bullsh*t” talk that he was not good enough for Manchester United.

The Swedish striker spent almost two years with the Premier League side before leaving to join the LA Galaxy last March.

The Red Devils may not have been able to get back on top of the English top flight during Ibrahimovic’s time at Old Trafford, but he helped guide them to an EFL Cup win in 2017. He also played a key role in their triumphant Europa League campaign until suffering a serious knee injury in the quarter-final against Anderlecht.

The former Juventus, Inter and Barcelona star scored 29 times in 53 appearances in all competitions for United and he believes he did enough to cement his status as a favourite in England.

“I worked, tried to do my thing, still adapt to the team, adapt to the coach’s philosophy and to the club, and I had no issues with those things because I’m professional,” he told the club’s official website. ”I like to work, I take instructions, at the same time I like to do my things that I think – I know – I’m good at, and I try to help the team in the best way.

“Still, everybody was talking, thinking they knew everything. My challenge was, at the age I was, coming to England, where I had years of everybody saying I wasn’t good enough and all this bullsh*t.

I like those things because they trigger me. They give me adrenaline. After three months, all of them were eating their own words. I needed new haters because all the old ones became my new fans!”

And the 37-year-old developed a strong mutual admiration with the club’s fans, remembering the great moment fans started to sing his name.

“I don’t need to lick ass, but the fans were just amazing,” he added. “I remember my first game in the Premier League at Bournemouth, I scored and the fans were singing my song for 45 minutes. After 20 minutes I was like: guys, please, my game is not really on top right now. Wait until I’m on top, wait and see! 

“Inside, I was like: f*ck, this is fantastic! They really appreciated what I did and they were thankful. That is the best credit a player can get because when you do something and you get that response from the fans, it’s amazing. They are 50% of everything we do. Imagine if you played in empty stadiums… you would not play. In Old Trafford it was always full. Always. In every away game they always showed up, always supported.”

The ex-Sweden international hitman has been in fine form since moving to MLS, scoring 22 times in 27 matches, but he still remembers his days of conquering United fondly.

“That whole first season at United was fantastic. Everything was. I really enjoyed it. The family was happy, everybody was happy, the club took care of me and made it really easy for me. I just needed to turn up, put on my football boots and perform,” he added.

When I was a boy, I had a vision of what I wanted in my life. You never know what will happen, but I had my dreams, I had my will and my life became what it became. A lot of things have proven that if you want it, you will make it. You will achieve it. It’s all up to you. If you don’t work for it, you will not reach your objective. It’s my mentality. I like that pressure because I like to say before that I’ll do it because I really believe in it. I know I can do it.

“When I came to United and I said I would conquer England, people were laughing at me.

“I wasn’t joking.”

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