While Zlatan Ibrahimovic is surely destined for greatness (in the Premier League or otherwise), we had no idea he’d joined the pantheon of immortals until recently. Or at least, he’s laid claim to some truly superhuman traits that have us scratching our heads in bewilderment. The Sweden captain and Paris Saint-Germain striker recently told UEFA.com that The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was actually all about him.
“I have never been better,” he said in response to being asked about being a 34-year old footballer, “The way I feel today is the best I have ever been. I was born old and I will die young. That is how it looks.”
Huh? We knew that footballers had egos, but to claim to be able to age backwards is new even for them. But perhaps a little hyperbole is needed when others make no secret of doubting you because of your age. In light of a rumoured move to Manchester United, beleaguered captain Louis Van Gaal said he found the Swede was too old in spite of his “unbelievable” skills. “He’s already 34 and I just spoke about the age of [of the players] I let go [from United],” the Dutchman responded when asked if he was ready to sign Ibrahimovic on.
Or Zlatan could simply be making a very cogent point using puzzling wording: age is only what you make of it. At least, that’s what we think is going on when he follows up with this explanation. “Age is just a number. You are as young as you think you are in your head. Your head decides how young you are and how old you are. So this year I decided I am very young.”
Maybe a bit grandiose for most tastes, but if he has any hopes of breaking into the Premier League via Manchester United, we suppose playing as though you’re 25 could hardly hurt.