Zlatan Ibrahimovic considers the quality of the Premier League to be “overrated”, but is pleased that his efforts with Manchester United helped to silence any doubters.
The enigmatic Swede arrived at Old Trafford in the summer of 2016 having enjoyed trophy-laden spells in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and France with the likes of Ajax, Juventus, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.
His arrival in England as a free agent saw questions asked of his ability to deliver on such a competitive stage, but he starred at 35 years of age and plundered 28 goals across all competitions – including match-winning efforts in the Community Shield and EFL Cup final.
Ibrahimovic never doubted that he would be a success, with confidence a quality he rarely struggles for, and claims to have found life at United easier than he expected.
A man now turning out in MLS for the LA Galaxy told FourFourTwo of his spell in the Premier League: “I’d had a long career before I came – different kinds of countries, different kinds of clubs.
“People said, ‘You don’t need to go to England, because if you fail in England, people will always say you weren’t good enough’. Everybody was against it. And guess what? That made me motivated. That gave me adrenaline.
“I liked the Premier League. I found it very motivating and very exciting. It gets a lot of attention, although I feel the quality is a little bit overrated – the individual quality, the technical part.
“But the rhythm is high. Even if you are the best, if you can’t handle the rhythm, the pace, then you will not succeed, because the pace is very high.”