The Swedish superstar’s ultimate confidence is well understood, but not everybody is impressed with his off-field behavior.
Mainz striker Jean-Philippe Mateta has directed a dig, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, criticising him for his”arrogant” behavior off the pitch, despite declaring that the former Sweden global is his idol on it.
Ibrahimovic, currently in his second spell in AC Milan, is famous for being among the most charismatic characters in the sport, with a career shooting in some of soccer’s most famous clubs.
His larger than life performances on the pitch are often matched with his remarks it off, although the ultimate confidence he has in his capability is frequently interpreted as arrogance by a few.
That’s certainly the view of Mateta, who thinks he shares a few of the Swedes playing features, but is not impressed with his behavior away from the pitch.
“Zlatan (was my idol growing up). I was searching for a tall striker who conducted fast, that revealed technical skills, who can dribble,” he informed France Football.
“What did I like about him? His goalscoring side. All he did was score. After Ronaldo and Messi, he’s the best goalscorer in history. There’s absolutely no debate. What he’s done, it’s extraordinary.
“But, besides that, everything beyond this, when he speaks to the media and does the entire arrogant thing, that does not interest me.”
Mateta might have ended up moving skinny with Ibrahimovic had a rumoured move to Napoli gone through in January.
The 22-year-old admits there was interest, but Mainz didn’t need to market with the club now fourth from bottom in Bundesliga.
He stays ambitious though and is determined to win silverware in the not too distant future.
“There were several offers, but it was up to the club to pick,” he added. “Given their position in the table, the club wanted me to remain so that we could stay up.
“My objective is to win prizes, win the Champions League, the World Cup, the Euro, the Olympic Games.
“Germany (is the perfect league), I enjoy it. However, it’s the project that interests me, not the team.
“I don’t have a club in my mind. A club that competes at the peak of the league, which has ambition.
“I am 22 years old. I must play. I must score goals.”