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Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Great Goals Retold

"In 2004, I was at Ajax and Juve were about to sign me. [Rafa] Van der Vaart wasn’t speaking to me because he said I injured him in training on purpose. I didn’t and despite me apologising, he wouldn't accept it.


"When I entered the pitch for the game against NAC Breda, the Ajax fans whistled me as they supported Van der Vaart. He was injured and could not play. I did play, scored twice and made four assists.


"For one of the goals, I received the ball with a defender on my back. Another tried to challenge me but I kept the ball from both. Then I turned and saw the goal. I was going towards the goal dribbling past players – bam, bam, bam – as I searched for a moment to shoot. It did not come so I kept on, going past different players. Then I was past the goalkeeper. I decided to go backwards to get a better angle to score. 

"I went past the same player again. I used to play with him, but didn’t realise it. He said to me: ‘Zlatan, I thought we were friends.’ I apologised because I didn’t realise it was a former team-mate. It was my best goal.

"Van der Vaart? His reaction was his problem. I did not care. The next day I signed for Juve."

This interview originally featured in the November 2010 edition of FourFourTwo magazine.