Mino Raiola, Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s representative, gave a tongue in cheek interview with Swedish media outlet Expressen in which he discussed the Manchester United striker’s injury, his longevity and his “affectionate” nickname for the super-agent, who also has the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba and Mario Balotelli on his books.
Ibrahimovic suffered a serious knee injury towards the end of last season in a Europa League match but was offered an extension to his initial one-year deal at Old Trafford. José Mourinho recently speculated that against all medical prognostications, the striker could return to action before the New Year.
In his interview, Raiola explained how Ibrahimovic’s mentality has allowed the 36-year-old to remain at the top level for so long.
"Zlatan never complains"
“He is not a person who complains. He accepted his injury and is working to come back even stronger and more complete. When he got injured I was sad for him, but he’s a great person. He said it wasn’t anything, that he wasn’t even in pain, and the doctor who operated on him said he had never seen such a strong and clean knee in someone who has had a career like Zlatan’s. He has at least five or six years left in him. Minimum.”
Warming to his theme, Raiola added between laughs: “I won’t let him stop, he has to work for me now. I’ve worked for him for years, now it’s my turn. My kids have grown up and I need the money. We have agreed that for the next five years he will work for me.”
Raiola also revealed that while his nicknames for Ibrahimovic include “God” and “King” the striker has a less glorifying mantle for his 10-percent man: “Shithead.” Although Raiola added it was an affectionate term.