Why I Turned Down Arsenal —Ibrahimovic


AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has explained why he turned down Arsenal as a junior player.

The super Swede left at the time Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wasn’t serious about signing.

Ibrahimovic told The Sun: “Arsene gave me the famous red and white jersey — the No 9 shirt with Ibrahimovic on it and I was so pleased I even posed for a picture wearing it.

“It was a fantastic moment for me. Arsenal had a great team then and here was an Arsenal shirt made just for me.

“So then I waited for him to convince me that I should join Arsenal. But he didn’t even try, he never actually made me a serious offer, it was more ‘I want to see how good you are, what kind of player you are. Have a trial.

“I couldn’t believe it. I was like ‘No way, Zlatan doesn’t do auditions’.

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“I thought ‘You either know me or you don’t and if you don’t know me you can’t really want me’.

“You see, even back then I had great faith in myself, even though I was still young.

“I’m sure that some other young players might have agreed to try out because this was the famous Arsenal team and this was Arsene Wenger. But I knew it wasn’t just Arsenal who wanted me — Roma wanted me and Ajax wanted me.

“So I said ‘No’ and, in the end, I signed for Ajax instead. It was the perfect choice. Maybe at Arsenal, maybe at Roma I would not have got straight into the team.

“At Ajax I did and so I was suddenly playing for a top club, winning titles and playing in the Champions League, too.”

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