LONDON - Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he feels like Benjamin Button after scoring for the 250th time since turning 30 - and Jose Mourinho agrees he is better than ever.
The Manchester United striker smashed the opener during Sunday’s 3-0 victory at Sunderland and his stunning 20-yard strike was his 28th goal of the season. And Ibrahimovic, 35, has likened himself to the fictional character, played by Brad Pitt in the film of the same title, who gets younger in appearance with age.
‘It seems like the older I get, the more intelligent I get,’ said the Swede. ‘My game is improving, I’m getting better and better. I feel like Benjamin Button. I was born old and I will die young.’ Mourinho’s side are now unbeaten in 21 league matches, a run during which Ibrahimovic has scored 13 times.
And, after his striker collected the man-of-the-match prize, the United boss said: ‘He was very good and physically he showed amazing conditions. I agree (he is getting better). The guy is showing all season no problems.’
United remain four points behind Manchester City in fourth. But Mourinho says he would prefer to qualify for the Champions League by winning the Europa League.
‘We don’t hide that we are still fighting for our situation in the Premier League but the Europa League becomes a fundamental competition for us,’ he said.
‘It is the only competition we can win now. I don’t want our club to be happy just fighting for the top four. I want us fighting for trophies.’
Sunderland, meanwhile, are 10 points from safety and have not scored for 11 hours. Boss David Moyes said: ‘There’s no hiding we’re in a difficult position. We’ve got a home game next, let’s see if we can get some momentum, try to get a win.’