Ander Herrera has dedicated Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Burnley to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo.
The pair suffered serious long-term knee injuries in the Europa League quarter-final against Anderlecht, and United players showed support for their teammates by wearing training kits with “Ibrahimovic” and “Marcos Rojo” printed on the back during the warm up ahead of the match at Turf Moor.
Midfielder Ander Herrera also mentioned the duo in his post-match interview, by stating: “I am happy that we could dedicate this victory to Ibra and Marcos.
“They are now having bad moments. Ibrahimovic because he is 35 and has won everything, and played at the highest level for 15 or 16 years, and now it is the first time he gets a really bad injury and so we are really sad for him.
“Marcos was in the best moment of his career. He was very focused on what he was doing. He is my friend as well so I feel really sad for him, but he is very strong and he will be back very strong. We dedicate the victory to them.”
Ibrahimovic’s injury has come at a terrible time, as the legendary striker is in the twilight of his career, and such a serious injury has cast doubts over whether he will ever be able to play football ever again, let alone for Manchester United, given his contract expires in the summer.
Herrera revealed that Ibrahimovic broke the news to the rest of squad during a training session before the Burnley game, and wished them the best of luck for the rest of the season. The midfielder also admitted that he believes the 36-year-old Swede will have no problems recovering due to his incredible physique.
“It is true that he [Ibrahimovic] was down at the training ground yesterday and spoke to the group,” said Herrera. “But he did not say much, really. He wished us only good luck with the rest of the season.
“He is privileged physically. His physique, his body, is one of the best I have ever seen, so I think it will be easier for him to get back than others. Of course he is 35, so he will have to work very, very hard and be very patient, but I have no doubt he will be back because he loves football, he loves to win, he loves to score goals.
“He loves to train every day. Every day, he wants to win, every box, every game of football tennis, everything in training, so I have no doubt he will be back. But we have to be, everyone [has to be] supporting them – not only Zlatan, also Marcos because these are really bad moments for them.”
Marcos Rojo’s injury has also come at a bad time for him personally. The defender was often seen as a liability last season, and was tipped to be sold in the summer. However, he has proved his worth this season with incredible performances and has shown marvelous consistency.
His performances also won him a recall to the international set up for Argentina. His absence will be massive miss for Jose Mourinho, as United approach the final few games of the Premier League and Europa League season which could determine whether they are present in the Champions League next season.
“He was in the best moment of his career,” Herrera said about Rojo.
“Really focused. For me, at the moment, he is one of the best centre-backs in the world. It is very difficult to beat him, every duel he won, every tackle he won. He has to know that he can be back as good as he was. He is my friend and I will try to be very, very close to him to support him and help him.”
Tweet to get in touch with Reyhan Ashley.