Wednesday 18 October 2017

'Giving up is not an option' - Zlatan Ibrahimovic breaks his silence after career-threatening knee injury

Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic reacts after falling awkwardly in Manchester United's Europa League quarter-final against Anderlecht on Thursday. Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Imges
Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic reacts after falling awkwardly in Manchester United's Europa League quarter-final against Anderlecht on Thursday. Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Imges
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has vowed to continue his football career, as he made his first public comments after it was confirmed he sustained serious knee ligament damage in Manchester United’s Europa League clash against Anderlecht last Thursday.

The Sweden striker is expected to be out of action for the rest of 2017 in what many observers have suggested would be a career-ending injury for the 35-year old striker who is out of contract at United this summer.

While United have been pushing Ibrahimovic to sign a new deal, his knee injury may force the club to withdraw the offer that have been on the table for several months as they consider alternative striking options for next season.

Ibrahimovic may now be forced to consider a return to the game when the 2018 Major League Soccer season gets underway, with several offers on the table for his services from American clubs.

Yet it seems any suggestion that we have seem the last of Ibrahimovic can be banished, as he offered up this defiant message on Instagram:

“First of all, thank you for all the support and love,” he wrote, with his message posted next to an image of his bare legs. “It’s no news I got injured so I will be out of football for a while.

“I will go through this like everything else and come back even stronger. So far I played with one leg so it shouldn’t be any problem.

“One thing is for sure, I decide when its time to stop and nothing else. Giving up is not an option. See you soon.”

There have been suggestions that United’s medical staff will help Ibrahimovic through his recovery period, but the prospect of the Old Trafford club waiting for a veteran striker to return from a serious injury seem remote.

Asked whether Ibrahimovic would play again, United manager Jose Mourinho stated on Sunday: “I don’t care about it in this moment, I just want the player to recover the best he can.

“I’m not thinking about it. I’m not sad for the team - the impact not to have them can affect the team in terms of results and ambitions, I don’t care about it, I just think about them.”

Even if we have seen the last of Ibrahimovic in the Premier League, this serial trophy collector does not seem willing to end his career on a low note.

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