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Jose Mourinho explains Zlatan Ibrahimovic absence from pre-season tour

by Leo Nieboer

Jose Mourinho has explained why he didn’t include Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his 25-man pre-season tour squad.

The 53-year-old insisted Ibrahimovic, who signed for Manchester United earlier this month, would be better suited to a specific training programme, tailored specifically for the Swede.

Ibrahimovic remains on holiday after playing a full season at Paris Saint Germain, along with captaining Sweden at Euro 2016.

Speaking to MUTV, Mourinho outlined that he intends to give Ibrahimovic a training programme specific to the 34-year-old’s characteristics as a footballer.

“The best suits are the suits made to measure. That’s better than going to a shop and buying a suit that might fit you or might not,” he said.

“The players are the same – no two are the same. My decision with Zlatan is down to hours of study of him, with my coaches, even though he came out of the Euros before others.

“The mind and body must adapt. At training level we try to do suits by measure – it’s perfect for the person.”

It is clear that Mourinho knows Ibrahimovic extremely well. After working with him at Inter Milan, alongside watching him carefully for some time, the Portuguese is in a better position than anyone to judge what is best for the Swede.

Ibrahimovic is a unique player, in both mentality and style so a specialised carefully co-ordinated training programme makes far more sense than a standard preparation. Many have doubted Ibrahimovic on the pretext of his age; but if there’s anyone who knows how to get the best out of the 34-year-old, it’s Mourinho.

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