Zlatan Ibrahimovic will arrive at Manchester United as one of the world’s most enigmatic and enthralling footballers, and definitely one of the most quotable.
Here are some of his best utterances.
“I can’t help but laugh at how perfect I am.”
“Swedish style? No. Yugoslavian style? Of course not. It has to be Zlatan-style.”
“Zlatan doesn’t do auditions.”
— When Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger offered the then-teenaged Ibrahimovic a trial.
“What Carew does with a football, I can do with an orange.”
— In response to Norway striker John Carew’s suggestions that Ibrahimovic’s flicks and tricks were “pointless.”
“First I went left; he did too. Then I went right and he did too. Then I went left again and he went to buy a hot dog.”
— On how he twisted Liverpool defender Stephane Henchoz inside-out.
“When you buy me, you are buying a Ferrari. If you drive a Ferrari you put premium petrol in the tank, you hit the motorway and you step on the gas. Guardiola filled up with diesel and took a spin in the countryside. He should have bought a Fiat.”
— On his single season at Barcelona where he endured a tense relationship with then-coach Pep Guardiola.
“What do you mean, ‘present?’ She got Zlatan.”
– On his ex-girlfriend’s engagement gift.
“We’re looking for an apartment. If we don’t find anything, then I’ll probably just buy the hotel.”
— At his unveiling as a PSG player.
“It’s true I don’t know much about the players here, but they definitely know who I am.”
— On his move to Ligue 1 in 2012.
“We were looking through his playlist in the dressing room — there was lots of Justin Bieber, Jonas Brothers and Selena Gomez. It is nice to know that even David Beckham doesn’t have good taste in everything.”
“There was the thought that this would send me into retirement. I sent their entire country into retirement.”
– After scoring twice to qualify Sweden for Euro 2016 over Denmark
“I don’t believe they can change the Eiffel Tower for my statue, even the people behind the club. But if they can, I will stay here — I promise you.”
– On his future with PSG
And there was this famous exchange with a reporter ahead of the 2014 World Cup qualifying playoffs:
Zlatan: “Only God knows who will go through.”
Reporter: “It’s hard to ask him.”
Zlatan: “You’re talking to him.”
And when Sweden lost to Portugal and failed to qualify?
“A World Cup without me is nothing to watch, so it is not worth waiting for the World Cup.”