Zlatan Ibrahimovic after Turning 40: “I Feel Like I Am Still the Best”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrated his 40th birthday in style over the weekend. He looked back at his career in a lengthy interview to the club’s TV: “I am calmer, more complete, relaxed, and experienced nowadays. I have a different approach, role and behavior. I take things slower to enjoy them more.” 

“I have played with the best in the world over the years. But the one that made me improve the most was Patrick Vieira. He pressured me and always wanted more from me. I followed his advice.”

Ibrahimovic indicated a coach that had a lasting impact: “Fabio Capello completely changed me with his constant badgering. He affected both my playing style and my mentality. He has a different philosophy, vision and way of thinking. One day he would lift me up; the other, he would tear me down. I could not figure out what he wanted at first, but it was just a process to make me get better. It was all fuel for my growth.”

“You change as you get older, and I am more mature now. I am still playing because I can help the team. I love to practice, that is why I can still perform, and I am an example for my teammates as I push things to the top.”

Ibrahimovic does not plan to retire: “Right now, I want to play as much as possible. I do not want to complain about leaving something on the table in the future. I have not reached that step yet, as I feel like I am still the best and bring results. Then we will see what the club wants too. The project is different now, and we created something important. It is a big challenge that can become a total satisfaction.”