Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his long-awaited return to action in Manchester United’s 4-1 win over Newcastle on Saturday.
The Swede has been out since since April, when he sustained serious ligament damage in his right knee, and has spent the entire summer working his way back to full health.
His scheduled return date was December but Ibrahimovic defied the odds to come back a month earlier which, at the age of 36, is mightily impressive.
But as he said in his post-match interview, “lions don’t recover like humans”.
"I told you, lions don't recover like humans. That I have now proved, rather than just saying it,” he told MUTV.
Ibrahimovic would go on to claim that his injury was much worse than people were led to believe.
"But if people knew what kind of injury I had, they would not believe this,” he added.
“People believe I only had an ACL injury, but I had more stuff in my knee that was injured.”
De Gea has tweeted about Zlatan
It’s clear that Jose Mourinho values Ibrahimovic and the striker has an important role to play this season, even if his role isn’t clear yet.
And he’s a valued member of the dressing room, too, with David de Gea just posting a tweet which highlights how much Man United’s players love Ibrahimovic.
Posting a photo of himself in discussion with Ibrahimovic, with Ander Herrera in the background, De Gea wrote: “Sometimes ‘God’ also talks to humans.”
Brilliant. Here’s how Man United supporters reacted to De Gea’s tweet.
God, a lion… Ibrahimovic really enjoys being considered on a level above humans.
Ibrahimovic is on the bench v Basel
Man United are currently in Switzerland ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League match against Basel.
Mourinho revealed on Tuesday that Ibrahimovic will start on the bench.
“Zlatan goes on the bench tomorrow and he normally plays because he needs to play and because he’s useful for us," Mourinho said.
"If we are in a winning position like we were against Newcastle we need him on the pitch, he drops into areas where he gives stability to the team.
"If the team is not winning, his presence on the pitch will be important, positive, more aggressive to play with Lukaku.
“Normally he is going to play and it will be a little bit more comfortable for him to play. So instead of 15 [minutes], maybe 20, 25 or 22."
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