As Manchester United lifted the Europa League title on Wednesday night in a comfortable 2-0 win over Ajax in the final, Jose Mourinho later claimed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic was helping his team inch towards the trophy even while being in crutches and off the pitch during the 90 minutes, and it was in a manner only Zlatan could think of helping.
As the final was played in Stockholm, in the forward’s own country, the big Swede was seen wearing a tracksuit and standing by the sidelines as he cheered his teammates on.
Apparently, he was doing much more than that, as when speaking in the post match press conference, the Portuguese boss said: “He played outside with crutches with the other guys, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, Eric Bailly, they were playing behind the bench shouting, they were doing everything.”
Mourinho went on and further added: “And on top of it, Zlatan in Swedish told the ball boys in the second-half to take it easy, so even outside he was playing for us. So I am so pleased he finally gets a European trophy.”
Zlatan missed the final due to a knee injury he sustained earlier this year, which will probably result in him never playing for the Red Devils again. But his contributions and presence earlier on was vital to bring the team to the final, and hence, he equally deserved the accolade as much as any other players out there.
This was Zlatan’s first ever European trophy, and to be fair to him and his achievements, it’s been a long time coming.
Written by Vikram Gupta
An attacker with his words, and defends each of them with pride. A love for the game which goes hand in hand with his will to forever write. A graduate in the course of advertising and a hopeful to be author. Herrera for the win.