Zlatan Ibrahimovic is yet to kick a ball for Manchester United this season but the fans have already taken to him and in a show of support a Red Devils fan declared the Swedish football icon ‘God.’
Ibrahimovic who joined the FA Cup kings this summer on a free transfer proclaimed himself God after club’s legend Eric Cantona welcomed him by saying there can’t be two kings in Manchester.
Cantona who is popularly referred to as ‘King’ by Old Trafford faithfuls scored 82 goals in 185 appearances during a four and a half years spell at Old Trafford.
“…. Just one last thing, there can only be one King in Manchester. You (Zlatan) can be the Prince if you want to. And the No 7 is yours if you are interested. That is my welcome gift to you… The King is gone! Long live the Prince!” Cantona is quoted as saying on Sky Sports.
Ibrahimovic in his now famous response to the welcome note by Cantona said: “I admire Cantona and I heard what he said.
“But I won’t be King of Manchester. I will be God of Manchester.” Ibrahimovic is quoted as saying in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.
The former Barcelona, AC Milan, Juventus, Inter Milan, Ajax, and Paris Saint-Germain forward is currently absent from Manchester United tour of China as he was granted an extended holiday by new manager Jose Mourinho.
Speaking at a press conference in Shanghai, Mourinho said about his decision to give Ibrahimovic an extended break: ”My decision on Zlatan is the consequence of many hours of study, analysis and discussion with my staff.
”Despite the fact he was out of the Euros one match before the English guys, everything is different. The body is different, the mind is different and the timing to have holidays and even things you don’t know, and don’t have to know, is to prepare in a different way like we do at training level.
“We try to do suits by measure that are perfect for the person and the way I’m building the team is more important for me with the players from other positions than the one I think who is going to play as the striker. I need to change the profile of the team in relation to other dynamics. The striker will be the easy one to finish the puzzle.”
After four years in France with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) Ibrahimovic was famously quoted as saying ‘I came here a champion, now am leaving as a legend.’
Manchester United will hope he maintains the same level he was at his previous clubs which has seen him win the league in Holland, Spain, Italy, and France.