Zlatan: ‘This was my 32nd trophy and I’m super happy’
Swede hails United’s EFL Cup win as a collective effort
Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic lifts the English Football League Cup after victory over Southampton at Wembley Stadium. Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA
Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes winning trophies gets better with age after firing Manchester United to success in the EFL Cup final.
The 35-year-old striker scored twice in the 3-2 victory over Southampton – including a late winner – to give United manager Jose Mourinho his first trophy since taking over at Old Trafford.
“It was nice, it was very nice,” the former Sweden international told Sky Sports. “This is a team effort, this is not about an individual. This is collective.
“This is what I came for, I came to win and I’m winning so I just have to keep going because the more I win, the more satisfied I get.
“I think you appreciate it more the older you get, in the beginning you don’t realise what the trophy means. The older I got, the more mature I got, the more I understood it’s all about winning, it’s all about collecting these trophies. I think this was my 32nd trophy and I’m super happy.”
United looked on course for a straightforward victory at Wembley following Ibrahimovic’s free-kick and a strike from Jesse Lingard, but goals either side of half-time from Manolo Gabbiadini drew Saints level.
Ibrahimovic then grabbed the winner three minutes from time as Mourinho lifted the trophy for a record-equalling fourth time as a manager.
The Portuguese boss admitted Southampton were superior for much of the final and praised Ibrahimovic for making the difference.
“I think he [Ibrahimovic] won the game for us because he was outstanding,” Mourinho said.
“In a match where our opponents were better than us for long periods of the game, they deserved to go to extra-time, they did not deserve to lose over 90 minutes. He made the difference and he gave us a cup.
“I’m a bit emotional, yes. It’s not easy to win titles, it’s not easy to win titles so many times, it’s not easy to cope with that pressure that I put myself under with my career.
“It was a game that I was feeling the difficulty, I want to pay the homage Southampton deserve and the only thing I can say is we have the cup in our hands but probably we should be now playing extra-time.”