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‘Who is this Zlatan character..’ – Man United goalkeeper in awe after dressing room stories

It’s fair to assume that if you have an interest in football then you’ll know all about Zlatan Ibrahimovic, his character and his magnificent football career.

Not so it seems for one Manchester United goalkeeper.

The Swede had already left Old Trafford by the time Lee Grant joined, albeit Grant had done his best to keep Ibra at bay in a 2016 match between Man United and Stoke City, a match that the official Man United website suggest helped to earn Grant his move to the north west giants.

Grant got to hear all about Ibra’s legacy once he’d joined the club, and finally got to meet him during United’s trip to Los Angeles, where the Swede had signed for LA Galaxy.

“He [Zlatan] wasn’t here as a player but he was in LA, he came and visited us,” Grant said on the UTD podcast, cited by the official Man United website.

“All I was hearing in that first month or so, while I was acclimatising, were stories about Zlatan.

“His period at the club had just come to an end but the lads would talk about him constantly.

‘Do you remember when Zlatan did this?’ ‘Do you remember him getting on to such and such in training and he nearly made him cry?’

‘Do you remember that thing he does, the kung-fu kick over his head?’ ‘Do you remember Zlatan scored that goal? Do you remember when he nutmegged that guy […]

“I thought: ‘Oh my god, who is this Zlatan character but that was what it was like all the time.

“I got to meet him in LA but it was literally for five or 10 minutes, just to say hello and ask how he was enjoying America and all the rest of it.

“For me, just to see how the lads interacted with him. Huge stars, well huge stars to me, looking up to the King! It was quite an eye-opener. But he seemed a really nice guy.

“I’m actually disappointed I didn’t get the chance to play with him myself. I played against him, of course.”

Once he hangs up his boots for good, Ibrahimovic can look back on a career laden with memories that most players can only dream about, and almost certainly people will still be talking about him in years to come too.

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