Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jose Mourinho are back together again. The striker announced on Thursday that he would be signing with Manchester United on a free transfer, taking him to the same club that Mourinho agreed to manage a month earlier.
It’s no surprise that Ibrahimovic is going to Old Trafford. He and Paris Saint-Germain agreed to part ways in May and seemingly every big club was tapped as a potential landing spot. But once Mourinho took the job at Manchester United, it appeared to be a foregone conclusion that they would join up again.
The duo only spent one year together — the 2008/09 campaign at Inter Milan before Ibrahimovic went to Barcelona — but they’ve spent the seven years since telling the world how much they love each other.
Zlatan about Mourinho
"No matter how happy I was going to Barca, it was sad to leave Mourinho. That guy is special."
Zlatan dedicated large parts of his autobiography I Am Zlatan to Mourinho and how much he loves his former (and now once-again) manager.
He also talked about how much better Mourinho is than Pep Guardiola, who managed Zlatan at Barcelona and just coincidentally is setting up shop across town now as the boss at Manchester City.
"That guy says whatever he wants. I like him. He’s the leader of his army. But he cares, too. He would text me all the time at Inter, wondering how I was doing. He’s the exact opposite of Pep Guardiola. If Mourinho lights up a room, Guardiola draws the curtains. Mourinho would become a guy I was basically willing to die for."
So it’s no surprise that when Mourinho took over at Manchester United, Zlatan was, well, completely on board.
"I believe he’s the man to bring them back to the top. If you want to win you bring in Mourinho."
And now he’s playing there for his beloved manager.
Mourinho about Zlatan
"We worked together for one year at Inter," Mourinh told Telefoot. "The feeling was great between us and my only regret is that we were together for only one year."
So, basically the same feeling as Zlatan.
Now that they’re back together, it means Mourinho can play mind games with Zlatan again. Like he did when he pretended he couldn’t understand the striker.
"He was very angry and upset as he came at me. He was shouting, ‘We are champions, I helped a lot to make you champions, now nobody’s helping me. I want to [come off] now.’
"But I pretended not to understand him. I said, ‘What? What? Do you want a drink, do you want some water?’ and I threw him a bottle. I told him, ‘Here, take a drink and go.’ A few minutes later he scored a beautiful goal."
Best of all, they get to do it in the Premier League. This will be Zlatan’s first foray into English soccer and Mourinho has always said it was a shame that the striker hadn’t played in the competition.
"I think it’s a pity for him when he finishes his career and he played in the most important countries in the world of football, and won the most important championships in the world of football, but he didn’t play in the best league in the world."
Zlatan and Mourinho, soulmates, are taking on Guardiola in England. This is going to amazing.
Non-attributed quotes from press conferences via Sky Sports.