Mourinho defends controversial actions in Turin

By George Davis and Alex Jordan November 08, 2018

Following Manchester United's 2-1 win in Turin Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho drew the ire of the crowd with on-pitch celebrations.

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  • Premier League is overrated, claims Ibrahimovic Premier League is overrated, claims Ibrahimovic

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic has revealed the quality of football in the Premier League was exactly as he expected it when he signed for Manchester United – overrated.

    After leaving his native Sweden, Ibrahimovic played four seasons in the Netherlands' Eredivisie, seven seasons in Italy's Serie A, four seasons in France's Ligue 1 and a year in Spain's LaLiga, winning 12 domestic titles in total.

    The 116-cap Sweden international finally made the move to the English top flight in July 2016, aged 34, and he explained how he anticipated he would need to adjust to English football.

    Ibrahimovic netted 17 goals in 28 games during his first season at Old Trafford and the striker, now at LA Galaxy in the United States' Major League Soccer, can only imagine what would have happened had he arrived in Manchester 10 years earlier.

    Zlatan wasn't here for a long time.
    Zlatan was here for a good time.

    And we savoured every minute of it! @Ibra_official #MUFC pic.twitter.com/GyOf5EvhqE

    — Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 1, 2018

    "It was exactly like I thought it was," Ibrahimovic told the Mirror.

    "It was very hyped, it was very intense, the pace was very high, it was good but the quality is a bit overrated.

    "Overrated from a technical point of view. But it is high pace and intense and if you cannot handle those two things, you cannot survive.

    "I don’t regret not having longer in the Premier League. I think everything that happens was meant to happen.

    "The only thing is imagine if I came ten years before I came.

    "It would be a different story. But I am more sorry for the fans for not coming earlier because they would have seen a different animal."

    Ibrahimovic revealed he could have made the move to England in 2011 after falling out of favour at Barcelona, but decided to return to Italy with AC Milan rather than join Manchester City.

    "I had the chance to go to City when I was at Barcelona but after that moment in Barcelona, I needed to find happiness," Ibrahimovic added.

    "Going back to Italy, I was happy in Italy and I knew I would be happy if I go back and I didn't know if I would be happy if I go to City because it's a different challenge.

    "It would have been a new club, which Milan also was.

    "But I knew the city because I had three years at Inter, I knew the country, so I took a little bit of a safe card."

  • Premier League is over-rated, claims Ibrahimovic Premier League is over-rated, claims Ibrahimovic

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic has revealed the quality of football in the Premier League was exactly as he expected it when he signed for Manchester United – over-rated.

    After leaving his native Sweden, Ibrahimovic played four seasons in the Netherlands' Eredivisie, seven seasons in Italy's Serie A, four seasons in France's Ligue 1 and a year in Spain's LaLiga, winning 12 domestic titles in total.

    The 116-cap Sweden international finally made the move to the English top flight in July 2016, aged 34, and he explained how he anticipated he would need to adjust to English football.

    Ibrahimovic netted 17 goals in 28 games during his first season at Old Trafford and the striker, now at LA Galaxy in the United States' Major League Soccer, can only imagine what would have happened had he arrived in Manchester 10 years earlier.

    Zlatan wasn't here for a long time.
    Zlatan was here for a good time.

    And we savoured every minute of it! @Ibra_official #MUFC pic.twitter.com/GyOf5EvhqE

    — Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 1, 2018

    "It was exactly like I thought it was," Ibrahimovic told the Mirror.

    "It was very hyped, it was very intense, the pace was very high, it was good but the quality is a bit over-rated.

    "Over-rated from a technical point of view. But it is high pace and intense and if you cannot handle those two things, you cannot survive.

    "I don’t regret not having longer in the Premier League. I think everything that happens was meant to happen.

    "The only thing is imagine if I came ten years before I came.

    "It would be a different story. But I am more sorry for the fans for not coming earlier because they would have seen a different animal."

    Ibrahimovic revealed he could have made the move to England in 2011 after falling out of favour at Barcelona, but decided to return to Italy with AC Milan rather than join Manchester City.

    "I had the chance to go to City when I was at Barcelona but after that moment in Barcelona, I needed to find happiness," Ibrahimovic added.

    "Going back to Italy, I was happy in Italy and I knew I would be happy if I go back and I didn't know if I would be happy if I go to City because it's a different challenge.

    "It would have been a new club, which Milan also was.

    "But I knew the city because I had three years at Inter, I knew the country, so I took a little bit of a safe card."

  • Everything was Ferguson! Ibrahimovic claims Manchester United must find their own identity Everything was Ferguson! Ibrahimovic claims Manchester United must find their own identity

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes that Manchester United are struggling to "find their own identity" in the post-Alex Ferguson era.

    Ibrahimovic scored 17 goals in 28 games for the Old Trafford club under the guidance of then manager Jose Mourinho, before leaving the club to join MLS side LA Galaxy in March 2018.

    Mourinho was sacked in December, becoming the third full-time head coach to be dismissed since Ferguson's 27-year tenure ended in May 2013.

    David Moyes and Louis van Gaal also failed to live up to the lofty expectations set by Ferguson, who won 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups and two Champions League trophies during his time in charge.

    Since Ferguson's departure, United have won one FA Cup, one League Cup and the Europa League, although interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has impressed since taking over from Mourinho.

    And Ibrahimovic has urged United to put the Ferguson era behind them by plotting their own path to glory.

    "Everything that happens is judged by the era of Ferguson," the 37-year-old told the Mirror.

    "They are saying if Ferguson was here, this would not happen, Ferguson would not do it like that. Ferguson would do it like this. Everything was Ferguson.

    "If it was me, I would say I don't have Ferguson any more. And I come here and I want to make my own history, I want to make my own story.

    "So I do not want to hear what happened before. I want to do it in the present. You come in with a new mentality.

    "Ferguson has his place in history at this club but now the club continues. It has to find its own identity and it is difficult."

    United's revival under Solskjaer has been evidenced by the form of two key players – Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba, who have both starred under the Norwegian – and Ibrahimovic insists that the club must build around the duo.

    "I think Pogba has the potential to be the best player in the world in his position," Ibrahimovic said.

    "He is a good guy, he trains hard, he listens, he wants to become better, he wants to win. He wants to perform in every game.

    "Rashford is the future of United. In the beginning, I saw him more as an individual, now he is playing more for the collective. He is using his quality more for the team, not for himself only.

    "He has big potential and a big future with United and the special thing is that he comes from the academy. I think he has no limits."

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