Record-setter Ibra hungry for more

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored at least 10 league goals in each of his last 11 seasons, a sequence which is matched in Europe's top five leagues by only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored at least 10 league goals in each of his last 11 seasons, a sequence which is matched in Europe's top five leagues by only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is refusing to rest on his laurels after becoming the oldest player to net 15 goals in a Premier League season when he scored in Sunday's 3-0 win at Leicester City.

The 35-year-old has shrugged off suggestions he may struggle to adapt to the pace and intensity of the English game, scoring 20 goals in all competitions since moving to Old Trafford on a free transfer in July.

"I have a target in my head but I will not say it, and we are not there yet," Ibrahimovic, who is also the first United player to reach the 20-goal mark since Robin van Persie did in the 2012-13 season, told British media.

"Normally when strikers score goals, we say '22 goals - 14 goals and eight penalties', or '21 goals - 14 goals and seven penalties'. With Zlatan, we need to remind ourselves it's 20 goals - 19 and one penalty," United manager Jose Mourinho told MUTV of Ibrahimovic's feat.

Ibrahimovic is United's designated penalty taker but those duties have also been shouldered by Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial. They both netted from the spot in United's 4-1 victory over Fenerbahce in the Europa League when Ibrahimovic was an unused substitute.

The Swede has scored at least 10 league goals in each of his last 11 seasons, a sequence which is matched in Europe's top five leagues by only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

  • 11

    Number of consecutive seasons in which Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored at least 10 league goals.

United are unbeaten in their last 15 league games and sit sixth in the table, just two points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who hold the final Champions League qualification spot.

When asked if his side were back in the hunt for the Champions League places, the Swede said: "I think so. It was a big gap a few months ago but it is smaller now. I think we are our own enemy.

"If we had won our games and got the points we should have got, then the situation would be totally different but okay, we look at the other teams and hopefully they lose points."

United host Watford on Saturday.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 08, 2017, with the headline 'Record-setter Ibra hungry for more'. Print Edition | Subscribe