Zlatan Ibrahimovic has re-signed with Manchester United. The enigmatic and entertaining Swede was released from the team after injuring his knee in June. At 35 years old, many speculated that his career may be over. But as we know, Zlatan is not cut from the same cloth as others. In typical Zlatan fashion, he announced his one-year contract by posting a picture of himself dressed as God wrestling the devil on Instagram.
Ibrahimovic had 28 goals in 46 games for Manchester United last season after arriving from PSG on a free transfer. Despite persistent rumors linking him to multiple MLS clubs — The Los Angeles Galaxy and newly formed Los Angeles F.C. — Zlatan will be playing in England next year.
“We are delighted Zlatan is on the road to recovery and we are equally delighted to have his ambition and experience back with us.
“I have no doubt that he will be important in the second part of the season.”
Jose Mourinho, manager of Manchester United
Zlatan had some choice words for those who doubted he would be able to recover and perform at the same level we’re used to seeing him.
“I am not done yet. I will decide when I am done. Lions don’t recover like humans.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic on his recovery
Despite re-signing with the Red Devils this, Zlatan’s footballing future will likely take him to America sooner than later. Even Ibrahimovic, with lion’s blood running through his veins, cannot win the battle with Father Time.
Wayne Rooney’s departure and the addition of Romelu Lukaku — another physically imposing striker — makes for an interesting game of numerical musical chairs. Lukaku, the sixth-most expensive signing of all time ($100M), asked Zlatan the elder statesmen if he could wear the number 9 shirt; a request that Ibrahimovic happily accommodated.
“Lukaku called me and said ‘bro, can I have the number nine?’ I said I was not going to make it difficult for him – but I was going to take the number 10. I never left. I just upgraded my number.”
Ibrahimovic won’t be healthy enough to take the pitch until the second half of the season, but the Premier League’s most entertaining character will be back, and this time he’ll be wearing Wayne Rooney’s number 10 jersey.