If there’s one thing we know about Zlatan Ibrahimovic, it’s that he believes in himself completely. Arsenal, on the other hand, may wish they’d known how sure he was when they were looking to buy a young Zlatan from Malmo at the turn of the century.
When he was still in his teens, the attacker achieved double figures for his local club in a breakthrough 2000 season, taking Malmo within three points of the Swedish crown.
Arsenal expressed interest in Ibrahimovic in the year 2000, but manager Arsene Wenger wanted to take a deeper look, so the club asked him for a trial.
“Arsene handed me the iconic red and white jersey – the number nine shirt with Ibrahimovic on it, and I was so happy I posed for a photo wearing it,” the striker said years later.
“It was a life-changing experience for me.” Arsenal had a fantastic squad at the time, and I had an Arsenal jersey created especially for me.
“After that, I waited for him to persuade me to join Arsenal.” But he didn’t even bother to try. He never truly offered me a genuine offer; it was more along the lines of, ‘I want to see how good you are as a player.’ ‘Give it a shot.’
“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. ‘No way, Zlatan doesn’t do auditions,’ I said. “You either know me or you don’t, and if you don’t know me, you can’t really desire me,” I reasoned.