Now 39 years old, Zlatan Ibrahimović returned to AC Milan in 2020 after two years in the United States and was determined to continue playing at the highest level.
The Swedish striker, who has won trophies with Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United, has nothing left to prove, but told UEFA.com' that he is determined to succeed on the field – and also in an arm wrestling King Kong' He said u can be beaten easily.
About what motivates him
I'm 39 years old and no longer have an obligation to work with what I do, but I still have that passion for what I do. I am never satisfied and always want more. I don't see many actors performing or playing like I do at my age. The moment a player goes above 30'it is when they start falling and quit the game. Above 30' is when I start getting better.
I've heard that athletes from the USA spend more than a million [dollars] to keep their bodies in shape. I am 39 years old. I'm in shape. I perform at the highest level. I spend zero to stay in shape. The secret isn't how much you spend, it's in your head – how much you want, how much you're willing to sacrifice. That's the secret. Mindset and mindset don't cost anything.
On the struggle to play at the age of 39
I want Zlatan's brain to have a 25 year old body! I get tired faster now than when I was younger. I sleep a lot because I need to recover more. Let's say after the games, it probably took a day for me to recover and feel good and really fit. Now I need two to three days, which is normal for my age.
And as long as I can, I will play at a high level. The day I stop performing, I will no longer play because I need to feel alive. I need to feel like I'm giving something back. I don't want to have an advantage because I'm 39 and they say "hey, you slow down" and stuff. No, I want you to think of me globally and compare me to everyone else, because then I push myself harder.
Who will play in their 50s: Zlatan or [Gianluigi] Buffon?
Buffon… It's easy for him: He just has to stand still and block the balls. I need to move, I need to create, I need to be able to shoot, I need to be able to fight defenders. I mean, he could probably stay in shape longer, but I'd give him a tough game.
Who gets penalties in your dream team: Zlatan or Lionel Messi?
Penalties% I would get 100 because I am the captain of this team; I decide who gets the penalties. I would take the first three, then leave one for him, then take the next three, then leave the [next] to him.
Who has the best tattoos: you or David Beckham?
All my tattoos are behind me. Because I can't see them and I don't get tired of them, because if I saw them every day, I would get tired of them. And now I think I've given up tattoos; I don't have any more space on my back. And I don't touch my legs because they are gifts to me. I don't want to do anything in front of me.
Who has the best trophy cabinet: Zlatan or Maxwell?
I have one that I don't have: the [UEFA] Champions League. That's the only difference between his cabinet and mine. We both had a great time, made a great career. We won many trophies together. He is my best friend in the football world and I am happy and proud to be able to share happiness with him. He's a great man. And he has a lot of patience to put up with me. This is a great talent.
Who ages better: Zlatan or Benjamin Button?
I do better because I am living proof of that. Benjamin Button is just a made-up story. I'm the perfect profile for that movie. I'm making the real movie, and Benjamin Button was a movie for the cinema.
Who will win the arm wrestling between Zlatan and King Kong?
I will destroy King Kong'. 100%. I will destroy him.
Who is less likely to be tamed: Zlatan or the lion?
Zlatan,% 100. You can tame a lion, but you cannot tame Zlatan'. This is a different animal.