London (AFP) – Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrated his League Cup final heroics in typically bullish style as the Manchester United star insisted he never doubted he would thrive in England.
Ibrahimovic scored twice in Sunday’s thrilling 3-2 win over Southampton at Wembley, opening the scoring with a powerful free-kick before sealing the first major trophy of his time at United with a clinical 87th minute header.
When the Swedish striker joined United on a free transfer last year after leaving Paris Saint Germain critics questioned whether he was past his best.
But the 35-year-old has spectacularly silenced those jibes with a brilliant first season with United.
His goals have kept United in the hunt for a top-four finish in the Premier League and now he burnished his already glowing reputation with a memorable Wembley double to take his goal tally for the season to 26 in all competitions.
But for Ibrahimovic, who has collected trophies wherever he has gone in a remarkable career encompassing spells at Barcelona, Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Ajax, it was no more than he expected.
“This is a team effort. This is what I came for, to win — and I am winning. The more I win the more satisfied I get,” Ibrahimovic said.
“You appreciate it more the older you get. Wherever I have gone I have won. I think this is trophy number 32 for me.
“This is what I predicted. To many I could not do it. My friend, I keep doing it. I’m enjoying it in England.”
Ibrahimovic said it was his close relationship with boss Jose Mourinho that persuaded him to move to United and he was always convinced it would be a successful resumption of their partnership, which first flourished at Inter.
Now he has repaid Mourinho by helping him become the first United manager to win a major prize in his maiden season in charge at Old Trafford.
“I got a call from Jose Mourinho. I have a good relationship with him and that’s why I came,” he said.
“I know I made the right choice. I predicted what I would do. I came — that’s special.”
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $35/mo. for Sling Blue
- Watch Premier League, World Cup & MLS
- Includes USA, NBC, FOX, FS1 + more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- Zamalek president jailed for insulting rival
- Peacock TV wishlist of improvements to enhance streaming service
- ‘Very good’: Werner says Flick encouraged him to return to Leipzig
- Alexis Sanchez joins Marseille after leaving Inter
- CAF launches new Super League to boost clubs
- Qatar World Cup start brought forward to November 20: sources
- Qatar World Cup to start a day early on November 20: sources
- Everton succumb to injuries and lack of talent early on in season
- Where to find the MLS All-Star Game vs. Liga MX on US TV
- Where to find Real Madrid vs. Eintracht Frankfurt on US TV