Zlatan Ibrahimovic is Box Office. For all the brilliance of Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo and the excitement they bring to the pitch, you have to admit, they are a bit boring.
Sure they score loads of goals and lots of them are very impressive. Sure Messi’s relentless brilliance is pretty amazing and Ronaldo’s “look-at-me” attitude is always going to grab some attention, but really are they that interesting? Are they any fun?
Zlatan has the goals, the 30-yard bicycle kick over the head of Joe Hart against England for example, the trophies, the winning attitude but he has humour too. Ronaldo has a museum dedicated to him, has (terrible) statues built at an airport which is named after him, but as far as he is concerned, none of it is particularly funny.
Make no mistake, Zlatan believes he is the best, but each declaration of his supreme awesomeness and lion-like qualities is delivered with a knowing wink and a smile. The rest could do with being a little more Zlatan.
Perhaps looking at some of his more memorable quotes will help…
“Only God knows… You’re talking to him now” – A solid start.
Throwback to when Zlatan Ibrahimovic did this ?pic.twitter.com/H0UegDEarw
— Goal (@goal) October 2, 2019
“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.” – Don’t waste Zlatan.
“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.” – PSG were that close to keeping him.
“I don’t think that you can score as spectacular a goal as those of Zlatan in a video game — even though these games are very realistic these days.” – Probably true.
“I won’t be the King of Manchester, I will be the God of Manchester.” – Hmmmm
“A World Cup without me is nothing to watch, so it is not worth waiting for the World Cup.” – When Portugal knocked Sweden out in the play-offs.
“It’s true I don’t know much about the players here, but they definitely know who I am.” – After moving to PSG, again, probably true.
“What do you mean, ‘present?’ She got Zlatan.” – When asked what he got his wife for Valentine’s day.
“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.” – One of his best.
“I can’t help but laugh at how perfect I am.” – Peak Zlatan.
See also: Five of the best goals that never were