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Zlatan Ibrahimovic: I Needed New Haters Because All The Old Ones Became My Fans

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: I Needed New Haters Because All The Old Ones Became My Fans

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is adamant that he made his harshest critics "eat their own words" after his instant impact at Manchester United.

The 38-year-old Swedish superstar completed a stunning free transfer move to the Red Devils from Paris Saint-Germain in 2016.

But Ibrahimovic has admitted that he had enough of the "bulls**t" criticism about his age and if he was capable of performing at the highest level in the Premier League.

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He told UTD Unscripted in February: "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.

"Still, everybody was talking, thinking they knew everything.

"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 bulls**t.

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"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!"

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Ibrahimovic reunited with Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford and spent two seasons with United.

And the former Sweden international added further silverware to his illustrious career, with United capturing the Community Shield, League Cup and Europa League in his debut season.

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The LA Galaxy striker has admitted that he was blown away by the reception from United fans and said their continued support was "amazing."

He added: "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**k, this is fantastic!

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"I said we would win and we won two big trophies. That speaks for itself.

"When I came to United and I said I would conquer England, people were laughing at me. I wasn't joking."

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During his first season in England, Ibrahimovic made 46 appearances across all competitions and scored an impressive 28 times for United.

But the ex-Inter Milan and Barcelona striker suffered a serious ligament injury in his right knee in United's quarter-final clash against Anderlecht at Old Trafford.

Ibrahimovic signed a contract extension and made his return in the following campaign, but he failed to have the same impact as his debut United season.

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Credit: PA
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Credit: PA

The former United star left Old Trafford in 2018 and completed a move to LA Galaxy.

Ibrahimovic has left the door open for a sensational return to United by saying that he is "here" for the club should they need him.

And United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who is under pressure after his side's poor start to the season, would welcome him back if "he's serious" about a return to the Red Devils.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Football News, Jose Mourinho, Football, Manchester United, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, red devils, Premier League, Old Trafford, LA Galaxy

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Adnan Riaz

Adnan Riaz is a journalist for SPORTbible. He studied for a B.A. in History at the University of York and followed it up with an M.A. in Multimedia Journalism at MMU. Before he started writing about sports, he spent over four years in the gaming press. He has worked for several publications, including Hardcore Gamer, LADbible and the Manchester Evening News. Follow him on Twitter to find out what he is working on next. Got a story tip for Adnan? Email him: [email protected]