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Zlatan Ibrahimovic: These football stars helped me mature and gave me a winning mentality


Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic says joining Juventus in the summer of 2004 was important to mature as a player and as a person.

The former Sweden international was impressed by the likes of Patrick Vieira, Fabio Cannavaro, Lilian Thuram and Gianluigi Buffon after joining from Ajax.

Today, the 34-year-old is one of the leaders at Manchester United and he is determined to help the young players in order for the club to achieve their objectives this season.

"I played with many big stars," Ibrahimovic told the club's official website.

"I mean when I came to Juventus I was a young guy. I had Vieira, Cannavaro, Thuram, Buffon, Del Piero, Trezeguet, Nedved, Camoranesi, Emerson.

"It was a monster team, there were so many. The mentality came from that. The more mature you become - I have two kids now - you take on more responsibility.

"The coach gives me a lot of responsibility and I take it. I am just myself. I am trying to help all the other ones. The picture for me, outside of the pitch and in the media, is that people judge me before they know me. They write – but that doesn't bother me.

"It goes in one ear and goes out the other one. It is important what the guys [at United] think about me, that is the most important thing. If I can help then I will help, and I can help even more."

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic