Zlatan doesn't give trials: Ibra recalls how he almost moved to Arsenal

By: Aveek Chakraborty
A file picture of Zlatan Ibrahimovic with an Arsenal jersey

Bengaluru, December 3: Zlatan Ibrahimovic turned down an offer to sign for Arsenal as a 19-year-old after Gunners coach Arsene Wenger asked the Swede to attend a trial in 2000.

Ibrahimovic, who was with Swedish club Malmo back then, joined Ajax instead. Ibrahimovic, a 11-time league champion across trophy-laden spells at Ajax, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain, said he was offended by the thought that he needed to try out for any team as he believed he was already one of the best young players then.

If Zlatan is offside, you’re on the wrong side.

A post shared by IAmZlatan (@iamzlatanibrahimovic) on Dec 1, 2017 at 2:52am PST

"I went to London for an appointment with Wenger, who asked me to audition for the Gunners," Ibrahimovic told Sky Sport Italia. "I told him 'I will not do a trial: either you take me or not, I'm not here to waste time'.

"I already had that kind of trust , because in my mind I was the strongest of all even when I was young. I met Wenger because I expected him to tell me to start with them right away. But Ibra does not test.

"When I was young, in my mind no one was better than me. I watched Ronaldo, Romario and Baggio on TV and I had one goal: I wanted to show that I was the best."

Ibrahimovic finally set foot on the Premier League in 2016, joining Manchester United on a free transfer from PSG. He was the top scorer for United last season with 17 goals.

He, however, suffered an injury in the Europa League quarterfinal against Rostov. He had to go under the knife and was out for seven months. He returned to the pitch only two weeks ago, coming on as a substitute against Newcastle United.

Story first published: Sunday, December 3, 2017, 14:43 [IST]
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