Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has insisted that he’s not the arrogant, hard to control person that many people believe him to be ahead of what will be the Swedish superstar’s eagerly anticipated Premier League debut this weekend.
“I’m a normal person,” Ibrahimovic told Sky Sports in the build up to United’s season opener away against Bournemouth on Sunday afternoon.
“People have the image of me that I’m a bad boy; I’m this and I’m that. People are curious: ‘How is this Zlatan?’” he said.
“I’m a family guy. I’m taking care of my family, but when I come on the pitch I’m a lion. That’s the big difference.”
The 34-year-old has been criticised throughout his career, particularly by the English media, for a level of self belief that few thought he could deliver on.
“I don’t believe I’m arrogant in the way that people think. I’m confident. I believe in myself. That’s not being arrogant. That’s something I believe is an individual strength in the human being,” Ibrahimovic further explained.
“I have confidence and I believe in myself. I have a vision and I do everything. I work hard for it. I don’t believe that’s arrogant.”
Sunday afternoon not only promises to be the first that Zlatan kicks a ball in the Premier League. It also has the potential to see debuts for fellow new signings Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly, as well as marking Jose Mourinho’s first game back on this stage since being sacked by Chelsea.
It remains highly doubtful whether £89m Paul Pogba, who only completed his world record move from Juventus this week after a delayed lengthy summer holiday, will play any part in the game after a total lack of pre-season training.