Zlatan Ibrahimovic granted an interview to France Football. Here are his statements as he talked about different topics:
What would you say to young Zlatan Ibrahimovic?
“I would just tell him to have more patience. Everything will be returned to him. I worked hard, but I didn’t have much patience. I wanted everything to happen very quickly. Keep working and believe in yourself. ‘ It is very difficult when you are young. But when you have an experience like the one I have now, you understand what it means. But when you are young and wild, full of ideas, with a lot of energy and motivation, you want to discover the world, but you have a lot of things to learn, it’s not easy. You have to be surrounded by people who have experience, who allow you to stay calm and who tell you the truth.”
On what will remain of him at the end of his career:
“I don’t know, I hope something. If there is something left, it means that I have done my job well. Maybe my ideas. Believe in yourself, have your own personality, don’t be afraid to resist if you think something, always have an open mind.”
Ever made mistakes?
“I make mistakes every day. As if talking to you now was a mistake (laughs). We make mistakes every day. This is how you become a better person. Nobody is perfect.”
On the attention Ibrahimovic gets:
“It’s part of my job. I didn’t choose it, but when you’re as good as me, it happens and you have to adapt.”
On not winning Champions League:
“If I had won it, it would have been wonderful. I didn’t win it, but that doesn’t make me a worse player. It’s like the guys who tell me: ‘Zlatan, you didn’t win the World Cup, you’re not a good player’. Ok… it’s easier to win the World Cup when you’re French than Swedish. After, to return to the Champions League, the more you wait, the more pleasant it is to win it, right? I still have goals and I still want to win it. In the club I have won everything except the Champions League. But I’m not complaining because I’ve done more than many others, I’m happy.”
On his spirit:
“I’m good at my job and I’m here to help. I try to win and make a difference on the pitch. I’m not here to be remembered by people. People who remember you are because you did something, nothing else.”
On his daily work:
“f I am almost two meters and I am still strong, it is because I train and work, it is not because I am in Venice Beach and I do bodybuilding all day. I was born this way, my parents raised me this way. I try to adapt my game to my characteristics and my age. I’m not as fast as when I was 25 or 30, I do my best to help the team.”
On Ibrahimovic’s nationality and diversity:
“When I was little I didn’t feel Swedish, because they made me feel different. I was treated differently, judged differently, looked at differently… that’s why I didn’t feel 100% Swedish. They made me feel that way. But if they had made me feel like one of them, I would have seen myself as 100% Swedish. But today I say it: I am 100% Swedish. I was young, I thought differently before, but now, older, I have experience, I am 100% Swedish. I am the new Sweden. This is the world now. In France it is the same. There are still those who speak of old France. Oh! We are in 2021! The world is full of mixes, different contrasts. And just because you’re like that doesn’t mean you can’t feel 100% France or 100% Sweden. But when you are young, you cannot understand it. You are in a stage where you learn and gather information to have the weapons to understand. You put up with it for a while. But there are consequences to all of this. Mentally, when you are treated differently, because you are different from them, it is difficult. It’s like children are harassing other people in school. People say to themselves: ‘It’s okay, it will pass’. They don’t know there are mental consequences years later. The person being harassed can become mentally unstable as a result of these traumas. I always say it’s better to take a big hit because it hurts five minutes. When you are harassed, the consequences can last a lifetime. But all these people are ignorant and still think they live in their old world. My wife is 100% Swedish. So my kids come from a contrast, but they, too, are 100% Swedish. This is the world today. A world of open-mindedness”.
On controversy with Lebron James:
“I said we weren’t doing politics. Politics divides people. Football in my world brings people together. Big difference. Because I’m lucky enough to be able to meet and get to know guys that I would never have known if I hadn’t played football. I have met people from all over the world. We bring people together. Politics divides. If I wanted to be in politics, I would be in politics. We should only do what we are good at. Sports and politics fall into two different categories. If you are smart, you get it. It is not a question of taking a stand or not. It’s about what you do and what message you want to convey. We footballers spread love and joy. You can’t bring your politics into my world. I’m not here to send the wrong message to people. They are only there to unite, to spread love and joy. This is the best way we have to do it. Football or sport, because we are good at it. I’m good at this, I’m good at football.”
On the end of his career:
” After my career, I want to disappear… when you live in this world for as long as I have lived, you know what you have been through mentally and physically. So, I just want to disappear and enjoy life.”
“On a snowmobile with Romelu Lukaku or LeBron James, which one would you invite to Sweden?
“Both of them, if they love snow.”