Zlatan Ibrahimovic certainly made his presence known at Manchester United.
Ever since Robin van Persie romped his way to the Premier League Golden Boot in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season, the Red Devils have found consistent goalscorers hard to come by in the number nine position.
The likes of Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial have all had their moments, but Ibrahimovic is arguably the club’s finest centre forward of the post-Ferguson era. At least, that is until Cristiano Ronaldo rocked up.
Ibrahimovic at Man Utd
But seriously, Ibrahimovic’s fleeting spell at Old Trafford was certainly a successful one and it could have been so much better had it not been ended prematurely by his devastating ACL injury.
The legendary Swedish striker had his debut season cut short in April, duly leaving him on the sidelines for months on end and locking in his 2016/17 goal tally at 29 strikes in 53 appearances.
And while Ibrahimovic had his Community Shield, League Cup and Europa League successes to help him through the recovery process, he ultimately never looked himself again at United after the crock.
However, you could certainly rely on Ibrahimovic to be up to his usual tricks away from the pitch regardless of whether or not he was in crutches or running around the training pitch like a lunatic.
By that, we mean the persona of absolute confidence that Ibrahimovic broadcasts in countless interviews and press conferences: comparing himself to a lion, speaking about himself in third person and all that jazz.
Zlatan cracks up Henry
In fact, Ibrahimovic arguably went more ‘Zlatan’ than ever when he was on the road to recovery at United if his chat with Thierry Henry in October 2017 is anything to go by.
Henry was working for Sky Sports at the time and conducted an interview with Ibrahimovic at United’s training complex, leading to the pair walking into a gym where the former Barcelona and Juventus striker had spent countless hours getting back to fitness.
Pointing out the murals of United legends that adorned the walls of said gym, Henry couldn’t resist teasing Ibrahimovic by pointing out that his image wasn’t alongside the likes of Roy Keane and Eric Cantona.
To that, Ibrahimovic simply had to respond: “I know what you’re going to ask me. It’s coming next year. You know why? [I’m not on the wall]. Because they still don’t know how God is looking.”
Why is there no picture of Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the wall at Manchester United?— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) October 27, 2017
Just wait for his answer. 😂 pic.twitter.com/ZFzHTK8dKo
Confidence through the ceiling
It doesn’t get much more Zlatan than that, does it? No wonder Henry couldn’t keep it together.
To walk into one of the biggest clubs in world football and while injured after just one season, joke that you’re only not painted alongside some of the greatest players of all time because you’re a ‘god’ they don’t know how to draw is just something else.
Ok, ok, ok, so it’s obviously just a joke, but you can’t help wondering when Ibrahimovic comes out with these sorts of comments whether or not he secretly believes them with ever ounce of his being.
In a literal sense, the answer is probably ‘no’, but it still takes a certain amount of confidence to go around quipping that you’re some sort of footballing deity.
And while we don’t doubt for a second that it winds up thousands upon thousands of football fans, something just wouldn’t feel right if Ibrahimovic suddenly became all humble and unassuming. Don’t go changing, Zlatan.