Manchester United

Juan Mata reveals Zlatan Ibrahomivic’s brilliant first words to the Manchester United dressing room

Juan Mata reveals Zlatan Ibrahomivic’s brilliant first words to the Manchester United dressing room

Zlatan Ibrahimovic introduced himself to the Old Trafford dressing room in a typically bombastic manner, as revealed by former Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata.

Following league championships with Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain, the Swede signed with the Red Devils in 2016.

The club added two prominent figures to the squad that summer when they re-signed Paul Pogba, who had rejoined from Juventus in a record-breaking €105 million deal, in addition to free agent Ibrahimovic.

Two years prior, Mata had signed from Chelsea; he has recollections of that period and his friendships with both players.

He tells FourFourTwo, “They were two players with a lot of charisma.” Paul and I spent more time together, so we had a closer relationship, but Zlatan was entertaining.

The Spaniard continues, laughing, “There were a few players around when he first arrived in the Carrington dressing room, and the first thing he said was, ‘God has arrived.'”

“People were going crazy, but ten seconds later, he burst out laughing and said it was all a joke. Although it sounds haughty, that’s just the type of person he is.

Paul Pogba celebrates winning the 2017 League Cup with Manchester United.
In contrast, Pogba found it difficult to continually live up to his high asking price during his six-year second spell at Old Trafford. He was supposed to return to Juventus in the summer of 2022, but earlier this year, following an injury-plagued 2022–2023 season, he was given a four-year doping ban.

Mata acknowledges his sadness at the Frenchman’s current predicament.

When asked whether he has ever given Pogba any advice, he responds, “We had a lot of conversations about football.”

He was an amazing man, full of positivity and support, exuding positivity all around. I’m saddened by everything that has happened to him recently. As a football player, he has everything.


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