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Ibra does not test - Zlatan rejected Arsenal trial

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has recalled why he turned down the chance to have a trial at Arsenal early in his illustrious career.

The Manchester United striker will face off against the Gunners on Saturday with his team second in the Premier League table, two places above their London rivals.

But had Ibrahimovic made a different decision he could have been lining up for Arsene Wenger's team instead, the 36-year-old having returned to action in the last few weeks after recovering from a serious knee injury.

"I went to London for an appointment with Wenger, who asked me to audition for the Gunners," Ibrahimovic told Sky Sport Italia. "I told him 'I will not do a trial: either you take me or not, I'm not here to waste time'.

"I already had that kind of trust [in myself], because in my mind I was the strongest of all even when I was young. I met Wenger because I expected him to tell me to start with them right away. But Ibra does not test.

"When I was young, in my mind no one was better than me. I watched Ronaldo, Romario and [Roberto] Baggio on TV and I had one goal: I wanted to show that I was the best."

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Ibrahimovic, an 11-time league champion across trophy-laden spells at Ajax, Inter, Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain, also provided an insight into his stunning rise from humble beginnings.

"I grew up with my dad. He worked so hard to allow us to live," Ibrahimovic added. "Our refrigerator was never full, we did not have much to eat.

"For example, when we went to play youth tournaments in Germany with Malmo I had to ask for 3,000 SEK [Swedish Krona] from my dad.

"So what did he do? He left me this money and did not pay the rent for a month - he sent me to play these tournaments, because he did everything he could and gave me all the opportunities that were there."