Ibrahimovic could have moved to any club he wanted to after leaving PSG on a free but he chose to join Mourinho at Manchester United and that in itself is exactly what makes him tick as Jose explained in his press conference ahead of the Manchester derby.
“Zlatan is a phenomenal player who arrives at 34 and still wants more for his career,” Mourinho said.
“He didn’t want the Chinese money or the American US dollars; he wanted the most difficult place to play and win. Zlatan is more about him than us. Our contribution to him, in motivational terms, is zero. This is just his nature.”
You get that impression from Ibrahimovic straight away. With ten league titles in 12 years across four countries, success has followed Zlatan wherever he’s gone and he wanted to take on that challenge with Man United this season.
He might be 34 but Ibrahimovic wants to win more titles. In that sense, he’s got an insatiable need for silverware akin to Sir Alex Ferguson – he only knows how to win and that’s the sort of mentality he brings to the club. We’ve bee missing that in the last three years. Whether or not that breeds success at United remains to be seen but Zlatan is confident he will, otherwise he’d never have joined.
I’m a big fan of Ibrahimovic. If you like him or not is irrelevant, you can’t argue with his career because he scores bucketloads of goals and wins trophies wherever he goes and Mourinho obviously sees him doing precisely that at Old Trafford.
Next up for Ibrahimovic is his first Manchester derby. He’s already hailed the United fans as something he’s never seen before in terms of their support and noise and if he can score the winner in his derby debut just like Robin van Persie did a few years ago, he’ll go straight down in club folklore.