The flamboyant big Swede has shared a rare moment of humility as he discussed the limits of his aging body.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has conceded that he is ‘not Superman’ as he approaches his 40th birthday.
The AC Milan striker, a man who has frequently rated himself as on par with the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, will enter his fourth decade on October 3 – just over a week away.
To still be playing at such a competitive level at 40, of course, is an achievement in itself, one that many of Zlatan’s peers have failed to do so.
But even the Swede, like any other player, has his limits as he opens up about the challenges he faces in his twilight years.
“When I was young, I just played, even if I felt pain in my tendons,” Zlatan told Sportweek.
“I wanted to win and score, stop. With time and experience, I started using my head and I realized how important it is to listen to your body. My head is fine, but my body is getting old, it doesn’t always keep up with it [the head] and it’s a problem. This year I have to listen to my body, every little signal it sends me.
“Only by doing so, I can avoid worse consequences. I need to listen to my body every day to play consistently. I need to think slowly, day by day, and realize that I am not Superman.”
Zlatan is out of contract at AC Milan next summer and will probably put off any final decision until the end of the season.