Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up
NBCSports Header Logo

Mourinho: Ibrahimovic “wanted most difficult place to play and win”

Leicester City v Manchester United - The FA Community Shield

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United in action during The FA Community Shield between Leicester City and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on August 7, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)

Getty Images

After exiting Paris Saint-Germain this summer, there was really no question where Zlatan Ibrahimovic would end up after rumors started to swirl, linking the Swede to Old Trafford.

[ MORE: Top five Manchester derbies in historic rivalry ]

Not only was the fit right for the player, who looks to continue to cement his legacy as a top-class striker in another elite European league, but also for Manchester United who was looking to regain its identity.

Ahead of Saturday’s massive clash against crosstown rivals Manchester City, Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho spoke briefly about what his first-choice striker has provided to the club.

“Zlatan is a phenomenal player, who arrives at 34 and still wants more for his career,” Mourinho said. “He didn’t want the Chinese money or the American U.S. dollars; he wanted the most difficult place to play and win.

“Zlatan is more about him than us. Our contribution to him, in motivational terms, is zero. This is just his nature.”

Ibrahimovic hasn’t looked fazed to this point in his young career in England, though.

In just three Premier League matches this season, Ibrahimovic has notched as many finishes for United, who currently sit tied on points at the top of the league with Chelsea and the Citizens.

While this weekend’s meeting against City will provide a much more difficult challenge than United has faced to this point, Ibrahimovic surely seems poised to continue his brilliance.