Eden Hazard believes Zlatan Ibrahimovic has plenty left in the tank despite retiring from international football as Sweden bowed out of Euro 2016 without a single win in group play.
Ibrahimovic could not help his country progress from the group stages of the European Championships following a draw with the Republic of Ireland and two narrow losses to Italy and Belgium.
While he failed to score at the tournament, Hazard believes Ibrahimovic still has plenty of time left in the game as a big name player.
“Zlatan is a big name in football. He has achieved a lot of things with Sweden, some great things,” Hazard said.
“He will have wanted to stay in the tournament a bit longer, but it was our goal to progress.
“But he will always be a huge name in football. He can still achieve a lot of things at club level.”
His failure to score at the tournament does not necessarily reflect poorly on the 34-year-old and while Sweden were poor, Zlatan was involved in everything positive the side did in all three games. If his team were going to spring into life, it was always going to be Ibrahimovic who proved to be the catalyst – as it has been for years.
Man United have reportedly signed the former PSG player, who is out of contract this summer, and his retirement from international football might prove to be a positive step in prolonging his football career.
Since breaking onto the scene at Malmo first and then Ajax, Ibrahimovic has been the most important player in a Swedish shirt any time he has played and perhaps the toll of such expectation will help to refocus his mind and keep him playing at an elite level once he does make his move to Old Trafford official.
Jose Mourinho’s reliance on an out-and-out number nine will help Man United focus their attack on the striker and with pacy wingers like Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford working off that focal point, United will be an entirely different proposition next season.