The king has returned! Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his Old Trafford comeback last weekend during the Red Devils’ 4-1 victory over Newcastle United, and his presence back to the team has brought a huge sense of belief and hunger to win.
The 36-year-old was almost certain never to play for United again after tearing his ACL back in April, but made his return to action after 7 months out on Saturday.
His first piece of action in the game was to attempt a flying scissor kick, something that forced goalkeeper Rob Elliot to make a save and push the ball out for a corner.
That game also marked the return of Paul Pogba and Marcos Rojo from injury, and in a game that was an all-round good performance from Mourinho’s men, Ibra hopes his side can close the gap on league leaders Man City – hinting that United can win it all this season.
“I think we can chase City, why is it not a possibility?” said Ibrahimovic. “We are all here because we want to win and we need to because they are first.
“I can talk of what Paul brings – big quality. Today it was like he hasn’t been injured for a month, he brings such big quality, a different quality and I bring experience and mine.
“I try to help the guys much as possible and do what I can.
“This week the manager has been very happy because he has a full team for the first time this season and as a coach you want those opportunities and alternatives to make changes.
“I think there is a possibility of winning everything. We were early into it last year and won two trophies and we are stronger this season. We believe we can do it.”
“It’s fantastic to be playing. Jose said, ‘Do whatever you want, I trust in you and you know what you have to do,’ so I was not worried.
“The contract is all paperwork and I do the physical work. Even if I had a contract or not I needed to train, that’s up to the other people, I knew I would stay because I wanted to stay.
“At the moment I am just thankful I can run and push it and play football again.
“In my recovery, I have not rushed anything, I have been out for six and half months.
“The only secret has been working hard. Those close to me know what I have been doing – I was working five, six hours a day.
“When it happened I said giving up was not an option.
“This was not a one-man work, it was everyone’s and thanks to them that I am back on field and can play because if people knew the real injury they would be in shock that I was even playing.
“But I keep that personal. People think it was only the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in my knee, but it was more than the ACL. But it’s sensitive and that’s why I don’t choose to talk about it.”
[Quotes via Sky Sports]