Zlatan Ibrahimovic interview

We speak to Sweden striker during AC Milan's trip to Dubai

Interview, Hot seat, The Knowledge

Zlatan, it’s been an excellent start to the season for you. How much are you enjoying your football at the moment?
A lot. But our play is not at 100 per cent yet, even if we are approaching the top of the league table. [Having] one week off during the Christmas holidays and then a good one-week training session in Dubai will help [us] to face the second half of the season.

The Italian Serie A league looks exceptionally tight this season. Do you think Udinese can stay in contention near the top of the table, or are Juventus your main challengers?
Udinese are a good team, of course, but the hard part of the season has yet to come and I think that at the end of the day Milan, Juventus and also Inter are the real challengers for the Scudetto [Italian title]. We would be happy to repeat the good job we did last season.

Euro 2012 has the potential to be an excellent tournament. There are a lot of quality European sides at the moment. How do you view Sweden’s draw?
It’s not easy on paper, I know it. But we will play our games: the ball is round.

Everyone will be looking at the England game. What did you think when you saw [England manager] Fabio Capello’s team pulled from the hat?
I admire Capello – he taught me a lot. It will be thrilling to play against his squad.

You’ve played for some of Europe’s most illustrious clubs. What stands out as being the highlight of your career so far?
Each team I have played in, each trainer I have been trained by, each player I have played with has given me a luggage of experiences that have been useful to the next step of my career. That has contributed to give the Zlatan I am today.

And your favourite ever goal?
My next one.

PSG – who you beat 1-0 in Dubai last week – are now owned by Qataris, and an increasing number of other European teams have Middle Eastern owners. How do you feel about clubs being owned by people who traditionally have no history of association with football?
Passion has nothing to do with history. Maybe those people who don’t have a tradition in football are the ones that are more eager to bring football in their countries at a certain level. That’s why their commitment
is so high.

Do you agree with FIFA’s decision to award World Cup 2022 to Qatar?
Why not? I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t do it.

Have you been to Dubai before? What do you think of it?
We came here for our winter training session last year. The facilities are great and, of course, the weather helps to do a good job.

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