Zlatan Ibrahimović knows how to score on the field, but he also knows how to talk off it. Ibrahimović has almost 500 career goals and a sea of championships won with almost every club he has played for. Known for his arrogant style and his smooth tongue, Zlatan is an instant social media trending topic when he opens his mouth.
While some quotes have been extremely funny, others have hit a nerve, especially within the MLS circle. During his time with the Los Angeles Galaxy, Ibrahimović did not pull punches and often stated the changes he would implement to make MLS more competitive.
No matter where he plays, put a microphone near Zlatan Ibrahimović’s way and he is sure to give you material that will be discussed, dissected, and debated. Here are 15 of Zlatan’s most insane quotes.
15. Zlatan when he signed with Manchester United
“I think I'm like wine. The older I get, the better I get.” Zlatan signed with Manchester United in 2016, there were rumblings over his age, but that did not stop Ibra, that only empowered him, until a knee injury sidelined him he had scored 17 goals in 33 games for Manchester United.
14. Zlatan and Benjamin Button
When Zlatan signed with the Galaxy, once again there were rumblings about his age and just how well could a player coming off an injury be effective in the grueling MLS. Zlatan had something to say about that:
“I feel young. I said once before I feel like Benjamin Button. I was born old, now I will die young. Don’t worry about my age. When I came to England they all said I was old and I came in a wheelchair. After three months I conquered England and they said I was flying.”
13. Zlatan and a message to Arsene Wenger
When Zlatan Ibrahimovic was 17, he was offered a trial to join Arsenal. The tall goal scorer said no to a trail, despite at the time Arsenal being one of the best teams in the world. Zlatan turned Wenger’s offer down in style, years later stating: "Zlatan doesn't do auditions."
12. Zlatan signs with PSG
In 2012 Zlatan Ibrahimović signed with a rising PSG, up until then PSG was a big team in France but not the powerhouse it is today. Signing Zlatan was a message that PSG wanted to compete with the world’s best. When he arrived in Paris, Zlatan had a warm message to his teammates: “It’s true I don’t know much about the players here, but they definitely know who I am.”
11. Zlatan and his relationship with Guardiola
When Zlatan left Barcelona in 2010, it raised a few eyebrows, he had finished a very good season but the relationship with Pep Guardiola was not on the best terms. Zlatan did not pull punches in describing the situation:
“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.”
10. Zlatan and the people of Paris
To say that Ibrahimović was a success at PSG is an understatement, Zlatan won 12 championships at PSG and he had something to say about it, even asking his teammate David Beckham to make a donation!
“If anything, the children of Paris should be giving me even more money for having the privilege of being in the same city as my incredible quality. And so should David Beckham. Call it a Zlaritable donation.”
9. Zlatan shows his Galaxy teammates some love
It wasn’t always criticism from Zlatan during his MLS days, he also showed some love to his teammates. When a reporter asked him if he was just too good to be on the field with some of the players that were around him, Zlatan responded: "Not my teammates. Because my teammates are with me, so if I'm a Ferrari, they are Ferraris, too.”
8. Zlatan takes Liverpool for a ride
In a game against Liverpool, while playing for Manchester United, Zlatan was just too much to handle for the Liverpool defense. In a post-match interview, Ibra let the world know just how much trouble he caused Stephane Henchoz.
"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."
7. Zlatan when he started feeling the heat of MLS defenders
It was very clear by his first few games that Zlatan Ibrahimović was going to take MLS by storm. Defenders started to really mark him hard, but that did not phase the tall striker as he stated: "I feel like I am hunted, but when you are the best, you're hunted."
6. Zlatan vs Video Games
The world of FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer also got a bit of Zlatan when he mentioned that not even video games can match the reality of Ibrahimović and his goal scoring: “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.”
5.The MLS MVP award meant little to Zlatan
In 2019 when Zlatan was passed over Carlos Vela as the MLS MVP he had something to say to the rest of the league in regards to the award: “I am the MVP of the MVPs, so I don’t focus on that."
4. No World Cup, who cares
When Sweden was eliminated by Portugal in World Cup qualifying during the lead up to the 2014 World Cup, Zlatan did not take it well, and let the world know if he wasn’t playing in the tournament it wasn’t worth watching. “A World Cup without me is nothing to watch, so it is not worth waiting for the World Cup.”
3. Zlatan arrives to MLS
When Zlatan Ibrahimović landed in Los Angeles his first game was none other than against LAFC in the El Trafico derby. The game ended 3-3 with Zlatan helping the Galaxy come back from 2 goals down. He scored an amazing volley that went viral worldwide, his post-match interview followed: “They wanted Zlatan, I gave them Zlatan."
2. When Zlatan wasn’t so nice to his teammates and MLS
Zlatan at times was visibly frustrated by some of his LA Galaxy teammates, he also questioned the level of some of his opponents. It led to a quote that has been debated, analyzed, and dissected in MLS circles: "Here, I am like a Ferrari among Fiats.”
1. Zlatan says goodbye to LA
When his MLS time ended, he moved to A.C. Milan, just like when he arrived, Zlatan left with a quote on social media that best described his style and flair in MLS: “Now go back to watch baseball."