Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a man not new to controversy. In fact, some critics have even accused him of deliberately seeking attention with his now trademark outbursts. But the 6ft 4in giant is not the man to be intimidated by critics’ opinion of him.
This time, Ibrahimovic says his goalscoring prowess for Lique 1 champions Paris Saint Germain has brought France back into football limelight.
It will be recalled that he was late last year voted Sweden’s second best ever sportsman, behind tennis star Bjorn Borg, and was congratulated by the organisers, but responded: “Thank you, but to finish second is like finishing last.”
Bjorn Borg is a lawn tennis living legend, having won five straight Wimbledon titles and six French Open crowns.
Back to the matter at hand, in a recent interview, Ibrahimovic said of his contribution to French football: “I’ve had a fantastic time in France and will have great memories when I leave. I put Sweden on the world map and now I’ve put France on the map of the world. I’m very happy for that.”
When a journalist suggested his 34 years might be telling on him, he responded: : “I’m less strong now? I have nine goals and five assists in 10 games – I have better statistics than before.
“If I’m old and getting weak and doing what I do then imagine what I’d do if I’m young and good. If I’m old and weak and doing what I do, I’m more than happy to continue like this.”
Ibrahimovic will get a chance to lead Sweden to play at the Euro 2016 in France if they see off Denmark in a double-header play-off scheduled for November 14 and 17.