Zlatan Ibrahimović: "I need to realize I'm not Superman"

Zlatan Ibrahimović is one of those impressive players who has not slowed down with age. However, being 40 can be not easy sometimes.

Niladri Biswas
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Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of those impressive players who has not slowed down with age. However, being 40 and staying in the media's eyes can be not easy sometimes. 

Recently, Zlatan has featured in Khaby Lame's latest Squid Game parody video, which was pretty viral. Also, he reposted it with the caption 'My Game, My Rules".

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has always been an influential figure, which he has been doing for so long. Being 40 doesn't stop him from scoring goals. He has been scoring actively for AC Milan since joining them. Corriere Dello Sport referred to him as the 'Super Ibra' last weekend.

Zlatan Ibrahimović - Sportz Point

Ibrahimovic. Photo- India TV

Hernan Crespo praises Zlatan

"Zlatan is an absolute phenomenon," Hernan Crespo, his former Inter Teammate told the Gazzetta Dello Sport earlier this week. "Being able to do what he does at 40, in the Italian championship, which is one of the most difficult in the world, is incredible.

"In every match, even when he's not brilliant, he always proves to be at a higher level than both his teammates and the opponents. He's at a different level.

"When we played together at Inter, he was already a champion. But he didn't have the maturity and ability to lead the team that I see at Milan today.

"Now, he's a real beacon, his teammates just have to follow him to continue to grow and aim to win."

Crespo's views are true. Ibrahimovic has become a true leader since his return to San Siro in January 2020, an experienced veteran guiding the youngest squads in Serie A. Zlatan admitted that he never had this level of responsibility before, so he's getting familiar with the role. Improving in it as well.

Ibrahimović and Crespo - Zlatan Ibrahimović - Sportz Point

Ibrahimović and Crespo. Photo- The Guardian

Stefano Pioli on Ibrahimović

Milan coach Stefano Pioli says he had got into the habit of rarely speaking to his players after a game because he wanted to give them time, and space, to talk among themselves. However, he has now completely stopped going into the dressing immediately after the full-time whistle because he knows that Ibrahimović will take care of the initial post-match team talk.

"His arrival raised the bar,"  He told DAZN. "The thing that surprised me was his intelligence in calmly entering a group that was not yet formed. 

"Then, after that, he started making himself heard. He expects a lot from himself and others. He raises the bar and others recognize him as one who can make them grow.

"Even with everything he has already shown, Zlatan still wants to prove that he is a champion and a pro. So, he is here all day, gritting his teeth to overcome objective difficulties and pains."

Ibrahimović and Pioli - Zlatan Ibrahimović - Sportz Point

Ibrahimović and Pioli. Photo- Sempre Milan

Ibrahimovic is missing more games now due to injuries. His performances over 2 decades finally took a toll on him, physically.

A return from his recent Achilles injury has proved that after his not-so-good performance. He was not up to the mark followed by his own goal. However, he still ended up on the scoresheet and provided one assist. Helping his team to get a 4-2 win over Bologna.

The following weekend, in fact, getting dreadful racist abuse from Roma fans, Ibra scored the opener in a crucial 2-1 victory at the Stadio Olimpico that means The Rossoneri have now won seven games in a row.

Zlatan on himself

Ibrahimovic is influential on the field as he is off it, so retirement is the last thing on his book of plans. He already admitted that AC Milan may not be his last club, while his dream of representing Sweden at the 2022 World Cup could well become a reality.

"The secret to my longevity is in my mind, as I am trying to prove that 40 is just a number and I can continue to do what I love," Ibrahimovic told Telefoot.

"I want to keep improving every day. Obviously, I can't play the way I did before, but I am more intelligent now and have more experience."

Giroud on Zlatan

"He is a nice person, accommodating inside the dressing room and a great professional," Milan's Olivier Giroud told the Gazzetta.

"From the outside, he could seem focused on himself, but it's not like this with those working with him every day."

More from Zlatan Ibrahimovic

"When I was young, I just played, even if I felt pain in my tendons," he told Sports week. "I wanted to win and score, stop. With time and experience, I started using my head and I realized how important it is to listen to your body.

"My head is fine, but my body is getting old. It doesn't always keep up with it and it's a problem. This year, I have to listen to my body, every little signal it sends me. Only by doing so, can I avoid worse consequences.

"So, I need to think slowly, day by day, and realize that I am not Superman."

Still, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the Lion he is. Still daunting at the top of the field and striking goals.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Oliver Giroud Ac Milan