Manchester United striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, believes Jose Mourinho is the perfect manager for him at this stage of his career.
Ibrahimovic helped Inter to Serie A glory under Mourinho in 2008-09 and was reunited with his old boss at Old Trafford for this season, following four record-breaking years at Paris Saint-Germain.
Despite his advancing years, the 35-year-old became an instant favourite with the United faithful and boasts a superb goal record of 26 in 41 games across all competitions.
He signed a one-year contract with the 20-time English champions, containing the option of another year, and Major League Soccer outfit LA Galaxy have been the latest side linked to a lucrative move for Ibrahimovic’s services.
Amid speculation he is holding out for a two-year contract extension at United, Ibrahimovic spoke warmly of the club and Mourinho’s influence on his performances.
“Manchester United are a challenge. The challenge to change the history of a club that already had a great history in the past,” he said in an interview with Fox Sports Italia that was conducted by former AC Milan, Juventus and England boss Fabio Capello.
“In order to raise my level, I had to come to England and prove to everyone what I could do. If I can win in a situation like this, it means I’ve done my job well.
“Plus I already knew Mourinho and what he wants. He tells you things to your face, if you’re not doing well and must give more.
“He manipulates you so that when you are on the pitch you give 200 per cent. I needed that at my age.
“I could’ve gone to China and put my feet up, but I need a challenge that will motivate me. The Premier League has a lot of fans and you need to keep up a certain tempo.”
Ibrahimovic will serve the second game of a three-match domestic suspension when United travel to Middlesbrough Sunday.
EFL Cup winners – thanks largely to an Ibrahimovic brace in the final against Southampton at Wembley – and Europa League quarter-finalists, United lie sixth in the Premier League despite being unbeaten in the top flight since last October.
“There isn’t a dominant force here, like Juventus in Italy, PSG in France, Bayern Munich in Germany or Barcelona in Spain,” Ibrahimovic added.
“In England, the team that makes the fewest mistakes is the one that wins.”