Bengaluru, January 9: Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Barem Kayal has revealed Zlatan Ibrahimovic's confidence to return from a serious injury at the age of 35 inspired him to recover after a dreadful leg injury.
Manchester United forward Ibrahimovic suffered a career-threatening cruciate ligament injury last April, which ended his Superb 2016/17 season prematurely and was able to register 26 goals to his name.
Such a big injury brought up a big cloud over his Old Trafford future as many even claimed that his football career might be over.
However, regardless of the extreme difficulty, the 36-year-old retired Swede stood strong and recovered from the injury by continuous training and returned to first team football in November and even scored in his first start in EFL Cup against Bristol City.
Brighton player Kayal also suffered a similar sort of injury just after few months of Ibrahimovic's injury, when the Israeli player broke his leg in a pre-season match against Atletico Madrid which delayed his return to Premier league.
The 29-year-old Israel midfielder, at last, came back to the first-team activity being fully fit in mid-December after eight operations and has now stated that the commitment and strength of Ibrahimovic helped him to gain confidence and have hope.
Kayal said: "I looked at what he did when he was injured and was not playing, the way he reacted and worked hard, the confidence he had to be back. It gave me a top model to look up to and learn from.”
The 36-year-old Swede shared his progress as he worked hard to bounce back from the injury which looked set to end his excellent career.
Kayal added: “Everything he did in every day, people need to learn from his winning mentality. It gave me a top model to look up to and learn from.” Kayal is set to feature for Brighton tonight as they face rivals Crystal Palace at home in the third round of the FA Cup, a fixture dubbed "the M23 derby."
Since his return in December, Kayal has mostly been used as a substitute and appeared thrice till now for the Seagulls.