It’s been a while since he played for Manchester United, but left-back, Luke Shaw, still fondly remembers the training ground intensity of one former star.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has seemingly always had a big personality and an ego to match, but it appears that rather than team-mates being annoyed or jealous of his antics, it motivated them and drove them on to do better.
“He was mad. I think he was what we needed in the dressing room,’ Shaw recalled during the recent Combat Corona FIFA Twitch tournament, reported by the Daily Mail.
“He’s unbelievable, he still had the talent and even though he was a bit older he was still the amazing player that he had been.
‘But I think inside the dressing room he was great. He had a lot of jokes but I think when it got serious, and when he had to sort of put his foot down, you knew about it. I think he was a born winner. Even in little training games, if he didn’t win and you were on his team he would absolutely kill you.”
In much the same way as Bruno Fernandes has galvanised the current United side with his outstanding play on the pitch and the strength of his personality and character off it, Zlatan clearly was never going to settle for second best.
For those players who make it to the very top there has always appeared to be a common thread, and that is the sacrifice of doing whatever it takes to succeed. It could legitimately be argued that training as you play is just one facet of that.
A knee injury put paid to the Swede’s United career, and short as it may have been, it will surely always be considered a success.