Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic granted an interview to L’Equipe where he gave a surprising statement about his real influence in football.
We have lived inside a lie for all these years, we always thought that Ronaldo Nazario was Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s biggest influence in football but we were mistaken.
The Swedish striker just revealed the truth about this during an interview with L’Equipe where he spoke about the time when he played for Juventus during a small period of time and met the player who taught him the biggest lessons in the profession, that man is French midfielder, Patrick Vieira.
It’s weird I know, but if you stop to think about it, this revelation actually makes a lot of sense.
During that period when Zlatan Ibrahimovic had just moved out of his bubble in Holland where he became a world-class player at Ajax from Amsterdam, coming to Serie A was one of his biggest career moves and he arrived in a squad that was filled with some of the biggest names in football at the moment.
There he would meet a couple of French legends who quickly grounded him and made him realize that he was a flawed individual, one who could achieve greatness but needed to learn a few life lessons first.
— Metro Sport (@Metro_Sport) July 1, 2016
At the time, there was actually no one better than Vieira to teach him those lessons and both players quickly developed a close bond. Even when Juventus was part of that match-fixing scandal in 2006, the two of them decided to play for Internazionale Milano together and they continued to make their friendship flourish.
This reveal is really weird because now the video of Zlatan Ibrahimovic admiring Brazilian Ronaldo when they met at a Milano Derby later on, just looks a bit creepy now because we always believed that Zlatan’s biggest influence was the legendary Brazilian striker.
But then again, Patrick Vieira does look like a man who could teach a few things to anyone about football, maybe that’s why he decided to become a manager after his career ended.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic broke the news to eveybody on his latest interview to French journal L’Equipe, where he also spoke about the possibility of going back to Paris Saint-Germain as a manager in the future, hinting that this could be the next career path for him.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic reveals Patrick Vieira was the biggest influence on his career – “he was always on my back, it was never good enough”. https://t.co/pkqI022Yeg #Juventus #FCIM pic.twitter.com/DLvY6KAIgb
— footballitalia (@footballitalia) November 9, 2018
“When I met him at Juventus, he had a really different mentality from the other players I’d known,” Ibrahimovic told L’Equipe.
“He was always on my back, I thought I was doing things right but it was never good enough. He showed me that you have to give more, want more.”
“He taught me that we play as we train. That’s how it works: if you train well, you play well. I don’t need to tell you the player and the professional he was.”
“He was a phenomenal player who will remain in history, but I’m happy I knew the player and person. He deeply influenced my game by pushing me to give 120 percent every day, every game.”
“I’m not surprised he became a Coach, he already had that in him: his experience, his maturity, his way of helping others.”
“He was always available to talk. He really helped a lot of players, not just me. There were big stars at Juve at the time, and to please them you had to give a lot, you got nothing for free,” he concluded.
Zlatan Ibrahimović: "Vieira is one of the best players I played with. He was a monster. He taught me so much." pic.twitter.com/pg9ogekbBM
— Football Tweet (@Football__Tweet) December 2, 2015
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