“I had a pretty good eye on them, always”: Zlatan Ibrahimovic explains why he joined Manchester United

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic says Manchester United was the only English club he considered joining as “everybody that knows football knows who United are”.

The Swede signed for the Old Trafford club from PSG in 2016 at the age of 34 and helped the Red Devils to League Cup and Europa League titles in his first season.

He departed for LA Galaxy in March last year, but looks back on his Premier League experience fondly.

He told manutd.com: “I wasn't always sure that I would play in England, but when I took the decision that I would, I was very clear in my mind that there was only one team I would play for: United.

“That is the team I want to shine with. That is the team that fits me.

“Of course, I was always aware of United. The person who doesn’t know about United is the one who hasn’t heard what football is. Everybody that knows football knows who United are.

“I remember watching them, of course. I remember 1999, against Bayern Munich, that crazy Champions League final. I remember Teddy Sheringham came in and scored, Solskjaer scored, and they went from losing the trophy to winning the trophy in a few minutes. Of course, it was more than 1999.

“I had a pretty good eye on United, always. There were waves and waves of success that you remember, Ferguson dominating the Premier League.

“And they were always in these red shirts... I thought to myself: I can carry that shirt very well because it’s not too heavy for me.”

The former Milan and Barcelona star also revealed that doubts over his ability gave him extra motivation, while praising the Red Devils support.

“My challenge was, at the age I was, coming to England, where I had years of everybody was saying I wasn’t good enough and all this bullshit,” he said.

“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!

“Oh, the United fans, by the way… they are amazing. I’m not just saying that because I played for United. I know now because I’ve been on their side and I know the feeling they give you. I don’t need to lick ass, but the fans were just amazing.

“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***, this is fantastic!”