Michael Andersson explains how long Zlatan Ibrahimovic can play at Man United

by Leo Nieboer


Former Sweden international Michael Andersson believes Zlatan Ibrahimovic could continue playing until the age of 40.

Many questioned whether Ibrahimovic, who joined Manchester United aged 34, would manage to cope with the Premier League’s notoriously fast, physically exhausting nature upon his arrival in July.

But the Swede, with 19 goals in all competitions already to his name, has duly silenced his doubters with a sensational opening few months under Jose Mourinho.

And Andersson, speaking earlier this week, claimed that the Swede could keep playing for another five years.

“Zlatan’s skills fit United very well,” he explained. “He always adapts to whatever league he is in. I don’t think him playing until he’s 40 is impossible.”

“He has been lucky not to have any serious injuries in his career. But it’s not impossible he can play for United for another three or five years.

“Zlatan has always wanted to be the centre of attention, the central figure of a club, even from a young age. It’s his personality, the way he is, he wants the pressure. If you look over his history, he does best for clubs where he is the main man.

“It’s possible United can still win the title, but it will be tough. It’s the sort of challenge Zlatan loves. United are starting to play well and, compared to last season, look like another team. Zlatan is responsible for that, along with coach Mourinho.

“And Zlatan and Paul Pogba also fit so well together. To win the title with United would confirm his reputation — he’s an all-time European great, plus Sweden’s greatest player. And it would end all arguments about him, particularly in Britain where he’s had critics.”

The key to longevity, as Zlatan himself has frequently noted, is the right mindset. And nobody possesses a greater sense of indomitable self-belief and determination than the 35-year-old.

In every situation – during a game, an interview, or in training – you can see the raw confidence and air of omnipotence positively dripping from the Swede’s pores. Zlatan knows better than anyone that, regardless of age or circumstance, he is the king, the talismanic reference point capable of single-handedly changing games with a moment of brilliance, and nobody could say that he has shown any signs of letting up during his time at Old Trafford.

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