'Sweden was my breakfast' - How national frustration inspired Ibrahimovic

'Sweden was my breakfast' - How national frustration inspired Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has revealed how frustration
with the achievements of Swedish athletes inspired
him to become a global star.
The 35-year-old Manchester United striker has
won league titles with Ajax, Juventus, Barcelona,
Inter, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain among a
host of other trophies during a glittering club
career.
Ibrahimovic also became Sweden's record
goalscorer before retiring after Euro 2016, and his
standards appear not to have slipped since his
move to Old Trafford, with his winning goal against
Crystal Palace on Wednesday taking his tally to
eight in his last eight appearances.
And the outspoken forward, who was born in
Malmo, admits that he always looked well beyond
the borders of his home country as he aimed to
forge a lasting legacy in football.
"I was aiming to make history," said Ibrahimovic,
speaking courtesy of A-Z Sportswear. "I wanted to
make a difference in a way that people would
discuss it long after I quit what I'm doing. That was
my target.
"I didn't want to do like the other ones. I wasn't
happy with what I saw. I come from Sweden, and
for what the Swedish athletes achieved, I wasn't
happy with that.
"I saw the world. I wanted to be part of those
things, where the world sees me, not only Sweden.
"That was too small for me. I had a bigger
objective than Sweden. Sweden was my
breakfast."
Ibrahimovic spoke this year of his disappointment
at not meeting Muhammad Ali before his death in
June as he has always considered the celebrated
boxer as a role model.
The 11-time Swedish footballer of the year says it
was Ali's ability to shoot down his critics that
most inspired him as a youngster.
"I looked at different kind of personalities. That is
what drove my motivation, my adrenaline," he said.
"I liked Muhammad Ali. The way he was, the way
he performed, the way he was talking, the way he
was moving, the way he responded to the critics, to
whoever talked.
"That was my inspiration. It's exactly how it
should be. I was training hard for it, every day, and
I'm here now."

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