Zlatan Ibrahimovic: ‘Lions don’t recover like humans’

‘I see the same team. I feel the same thing. I feel the same atmosphere with the team’

Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned to action as Manchester United beat Newcastle United 4-1 at Old Trafford. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA

Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned to action as Manchester United beat Newcastle United 4-1 at Old Trafford. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA

 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic once again compared himself to a lion after returning from a knee injury in the 4-1 win over Newcastle at Old Trafford.

The Swedish forward had previously said “lions do not compare themselves to humans” when asked to rate himself against other strikers in the Premier League.

Ibrahimovic, out since April with a knee ligament injury, repeated the reference when asked to comment about his recovery.

Following his return as a second-half substitute in the win at Old Trafford, Ibrahimovic was asked if he ever doubted he would return.

He told BT Sport 1: “No, because lions they don’t recover like humans.”

The Swede added: “It’s special. Different day, same quality. I am not worried. I am not worried at all because I know what I do. I train hard. I sacrificed a lot.

“It is not easy, especially in my case. It was not like I went on vacation. I had a different summer because I was without a contract. As soon as I signed I wanted to focus on the team. I wanted to give something to help the team as best as possible.

“It’s about coming back and making a statement. I’m just thankful I can play football again.”

United’s win left them eight points adrift of leaders Manchester City.

Dwight Gayle opened the scoring for Newcastle but the hosts replied with goals from Anthony Martial, Chris Smalling, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku.

Pogba said it was more important that United won than he scored on his own comeback from two months out.

He said: “We won, that’s the most important thing. I see the same team. I feel the same thing. I feel the same atmosphere with the team. The critics we just forget about them.”

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