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Top 30 Quotes on Zlatan Ibrahimovic by players and managers


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Zlatan Ibrahimovic is unarguably one of the greatest strikers in the history of the game. The retired Sweden international has won trophies in all the domestic leagues he has played in. At club level, only the coveted Champions League trophy evades him and a trophy won’t be necessary for him to seal his legendary status.

The former Barcelona and Juventus striker Ibrahimovic is one of the players who can’t be ignored. The Swede has an incredible aura and is always the center of attention. The classy forward is a big character and leader on the field and his presence alone in a starting line-up can terrify the best defenders in the world. His ego and arrogance match his ability, which is why he faces comparatively less flak despite his controversial statements. Not many players can get away after labeling France as a sh*t country, can they?

For all his excellence, Zlatan receives plaudits from most of the big name football personalities. Here’s a compilation of the top 30 quotes on the Malmo-born stalwart.

“He’s someone who, as a player, you see him walk into the dressing room and you see a winner, you see a character and you’re seeing a bit of class. As a team-mate it lifts you. These are the signings that will lift the Manchester United team and that’s what you want.”

– Ryan Giggs

“Zlatan has always played at the top level. He never had a low point in his career. Perhaps he had some bad games now and then, but that’s all. He has gained the respect of all his teammates and all his rivals. He is an example for every footballer”

– Eden Hazard

“We used to sleep in the same room before games. One night, he woke up. Ibra told me, ‘Adi, wake up! I had a nightmare. I dreamed Ronaldo was better than me!’ He only went back to sleep after I told him, ‘No, Zlatan, no! You are the best in the world! Calm down!”

– Adrian Mutu

“The thing about Ibra is this is a guy who always wants to win. Trust me, this guy would chase the last pass in the last minute if a training session in July if he thought he could get the goal that won the eight-a-side. When he says that he is getting better, he means it. He’s certainly better than any 34-year-old footballer I know.”

– Carlo Ancelotti

“I don’t understand when people say he is a difficult guy to work with or a difficult personality. When you have somebody that is a winner and wants to win all the time, I think he is very, very easy. I only coached him for a year but it was a good year, a good experience and I rate him as one of the best players I have ever coached.”

Jose Mourinho

“He looks a good character. You’d be happy to play with him. As a player? Really, really good. Talented boy. Looks a bit of a character.

– Roy Keane

“He is an amazing player, someone really special who has marked an era. He has won league titles wherever he went. Of course, he can be quite temperamental. He says what he thinks, but that has never bothered me. There are not a lot of players with his character.”

– Thierry Henry

“He is a world-class player and is a world-class person. Any team that gets him should be very grateful. He is fantastic – the way he speaks with the younger players, the way he demands quality. It is a true pleasure to play with him. There’ll never be another Zlatan – he’s a one-off. The way he talked and behaved has inspired me.”

– John Guidetti

“I could see immediately that he had something special but I did not think he would become such a big star. He was big, good technically and could read the game. Zlatan is fantastic and, honestly, I get angry when people say bad things about him. He is an intelligent and pleasant guy. For me there are three players: Pele, Johan Cruyff and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. They are the three best players ever.”

– John Steen Olsen
(the scout who recommended Ibra to Ajax)

“Wow! As a person, as an individual he is for me bigger and stronger than anyone else in the world. Ibra is unbelievable. The outstanding football personality. Yes, he can cause the coach problems in the changing room. But as a teammate and a football player he is the best!”

– Dmytro Chygrynskiy

“[Zlatan] is a top class player. One of the best in Europe, if not the world”.

– Martin O’Neill

“With him, you have to use both the stick and the carrot. Ibra is a strong personality and needs to be relaxed at times, while in other occasions he has to be stimulated, otherwise he falls asleep.”

– Massimiliano Allegri

“It will be impossible to find another Zlatan. He is special, he is unique. We will not find another player like him in Sweden, because he is unique.”

– Erik Hamren

“He is a physically magnificent specimen [ . . . ]. I’ve played with or against the very best in the world. I want to say that I have never met anyone who was so serious during both practice and games. When I came to Paris I knew that he was an incomparable talent as a player, but he’d be so tough and merciless on himself at all times, I had no idea. He is a born winner. He is a beast with huge self-confidence, and I’m one of his biggest admirers.”

– David Beckham

“It is difficult to defend against him because he has the physique of a big centre forward, a “target man” as we say here in English football. But on top of that, he is technical and quick like a small player. Few players have both of those qualities, so the defenders are not used to that. You are pushed around, and as well, you get out-dribbled with finesse…”

– Kurt Zouma

“He jokes and he is a very happy man, but he’s just kidding around. But the image that people have of him is all wrong. He loves to joke and that is just the way he is, but inside there is a great professional.”

– Carlo Ancelotti

“He’s a fit lad, he looks after himself, he’s got great charisma. He’s a great character.”

– Paul Scholes

“Zlatan Ibrahimovic has tremendous leadership qualities. He was the hardest I’d ever seen on his own team-mates about standards, whether the kind of ball, the effort, off-the-field stuff. That’s a big part of why he’s got to where he is. He’s so arrogant he’s actually likeable.”

– Paul Clement

“This guy finds the goals, finds the little tricks. He finds whatever the crowd needs at any given time. He was born to play for Manchester United.”

– Peter Schmeichel

“It is really sad he never played in England. He would have been brilliant for the game. He’s bright, he’s got unbelievable charisma, he’s a gentleman and unbelievable talent.”

– Paul Clement

“We haven’t had a goalscorer like him in France for a long time. He is on a different planet to anyone else.”

– Jean-Pierre Papin

“Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the greatest foreign player ever to play in France.”

– Christophe Galtier

“Zlatan has a particular personality. At each training sessions he wants to win. That’s something positive. And the other thing [that strikes me] when I look at him is that it’s all about his personality. Any time he wants to say something to you, he would say it face to face. That’s positive. Quite often, players don’t speak face to face, they speak behind your back. So I think, what Zlatan does is very positive. He has a strong personality but people in front of their TV think that he is arrogant. He is not arrogant. He is still very good and for PSG, he is a very, very important player. I think he is one the best players I played with. I played with [Clarence] Seedorf, Ronaldinho, [Andrea] Pirlo, [Alessandro] Nesta – they are all quality players. He is different. He is strong physically and he also has technique, but he has a bigger personality. That makes him a great player. I hope he can finish his career with a Champions League title.”

– Thiago Silva

“He has an ego, but on the field he behaves like a champion. It’s part of his character. No-one will change his personality, like Cristiano Ronaldo. Sometimes he shows an arrogant side, but when you know him he’s not like that at all. He’s quite nice.

Zinedine Zidane

“When I see his stats and the records he is breaking – records were just a matter of time. When people ask me if I’m surprised he has scored so many goals, no I’m not. He is a player who has always scored goals – in Spain, in Italy. His statistics are unbelievable. He is an incredible competitor. He wants to win everything, he wants to score more goals. When I hear people questioning his abilities it means they don’t know a thing about football. He can have difficult patches of form but when you see what he has done, and I don’t think it’s over, I think it’s impressive.”

– Laurent Blanc

“Zlatan is unique – he’s the only player in the world who measures 1.96 metres, has the technique of Lionel Messi, the character of Muhammad Ali, and the strength of Mike Tyson.”

– Mino Raiola

“When he’s on form, he’s unstoppable. He’s at the same level as [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi. He has the strength, the technique and the intelligence. He’s an extraordinary player.”

– Gianfranco Zola

“I have played with Leo [Lionel Messi], Cristiano [Ronaldo], [Wayne] Rooney, and now I have the chance to play with Ibra. I’d never realised how good he is, all the moves he has, despite him being so tall. I think he has a lot of quality.”

– Angel di Maria

“Of course it will be hard for anybody to do what van Basten did during his career. [ . . . ] the way he [Zlatan] moves with the ball really does remind me of van Basten.”

– Paolo Maldini

“Zlatan is a beast. He is one of those players that I like because of his character and his quality. He is among the best strikers in football history.”

– Diego Costa

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