Zlatan Ibrahimovic at 34? Manchester, united no more
Deccan Chronicle| wriddhaayan bhattacharyya
The signing of the Swedish footballer is another example how the club went downhill in recent times.
Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic confirmed his move to Manchester United on Thursday. (Photo: AP)
Mumbai: Manchester United – a splendid metropolis at one point – tottered like a ball out of air with the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s arrival is another instance that attests the downhill.
Though blind fandom led to social media deluge when the Swedish star confirmed his Old Trafford sojourn, it is to be noted that the club never signed footballers past their prime.
Time to let the world know. My next destination is @ManUtd pic.twitter.com/DAK7iYlrCq— Zlatan Ibrahimovi (@Ibra_official) June 30, 2016
What is wrong with Manchester United?
Footballers at their peak, even if they had a lucrative contract with other clubs, would leave everything to stitch Manchester dreams. The club never waited for a footballer to be available, footballers made themselves available for the club.
Had Ferguson been around, the 34-year-old Ibrahimovic would have been dismissed as too old.
Ferguson barely signed players above 27, the rule he broke only once – for Robin van Persie – which worked wonders in his last season as boss.
The Dutchman set the stage for the 74-year-old principal’s perfect farewell – the league title in 2013.
Manchester United had a history of poaching best players from other clubs which created the rivalry – Roy Keane, Rio Ferdinand are the best examples.
The message was clear – if one is playing his best football, United would be looking to hire them and nobody could say no to the perks, style, glamour and money.
So, why did Jose Mourinho bring in a player who claimed that he is already a legend? "I came like a king, left like a legend," said Ibrahimovic after leaving Paris Saint-Germain.
Manchester United makes legends, since when did they start inviting legends?
It is possible that Mourinho is looking at Ibrahimovic like he saw Didier Drogba who came back and won the league for Chelsea at 36 in 2014-15.
In a club where David Beckham was sold at 28, Ruud van Nistelrooy shown the door at 30, Keane at 32 – what will Ibrahimovic achieve at 34?
Welcome to the post-Ferguson era; with a little help from David Moyes and Louis van Gaal.