Zlatan Ibrahimovic has made it clear to Manchester United supporters that he will come back even stronger once he returns from injury.
The Swede, who suffered ligament damage in his right knee against Anderlecht in April, signed a new one year contract with Man United last month.
Uncertainty continues to loom over when exactly he will return to action, with his agent Mino Raiola expecting a January return while others reports have hinted towards the 35-year-old being back by November.
But Ibrahimovic has noted that, whenever he returns, there will be no excuses revolving around any hangover from his lengthy period on the sidelines.
“I feel good,” he said. “I have trained every day since I had my knee operated on, there is no vacation. It’s a new challenge but I am strong mentally and when I focus on an objective nothing can stop me. I will go through everything, it doesn’t matter what’s in my way, I will break everything to reach my goal.
“When I come back to play football on the field I will be better than before, I am not coming back because I am the one I am, I am coming back to be a better version of the old one. Imagine how that will be!
“If we talk specifically about the injury then I have never felt any pain, the only thing I have felt is a strange feeling in my movement that obviously showed something was wrong in the knee.”I need to have patience and that’s the way we work.
“We are in no rush, when we are ready we will be ready. When I am playing again I don’t want any excuses that I was injured, or ‘he just came back, this is his first game’.
“No – I want to feel the same pressure I had before because everything happened. I am looking forward to that moment.”
Most 35-year-olds would view an extensive period on the sidelines as the catalyst for a decline in potency – or perhaps even as a death knell for their very playing career.
Not Zlatan. In fact, he has turned this long layoff into an opportunity to galvanise even greater amounts of inner strength and prepare mentally for what will most likely be the final season of a truly special career.