Belfast Telegraph

Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he has silenced critics with 'amazing' start at United

Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes he has made his critics eat their words with his performances for Manchester United this season.

The 35-year-old has reached the turn of the year with 17 goals to his name so far in his first season playing in England, and said his displays prove he has plenty left in the tank.

" I feel good," he said in a number of national newspapers. "I don't know how many years I have left, but I am enjoying the football.

"I came to the Premier League and everyone thought it would not be possible but, like always, I make them eat their balls.

"It gives me a lot of energy, trust me, because they get paid to talk s*** and I get paid to play with my feet. That's how I enjoy it.

"Every year they (Premier League clubs) have been calling me and it was not feeling good, so I wanted to come when everyone thought I was over (the hill)."

Ibrahimvovic was denied what would have been his 18th United goal in the first half of Saturday's 2-1 win over Middlesbrough when Lee Mason instead gave a foul for a high boot.

The decision left Ibrahimovic stunned, and denied him the chance to equal Lionel Messi's record of 51 goals in 2016.

"Why he whistled, I don't know," he said. "At first he gave the goal and after 30 seconds, he changed his mind.

"There was not a lot to say to him because if you open your mouth, they give you a yellow. But I think I had a fantastic year. I'm not complaining. I came to United and my first six months here have been more than amazing.

"That (the record) was not important. For me, the win is the same if I would beat Messi or not."

After Ibrahimovic's strike was disallowed, United needed late goals from Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba to come from behind following Grant Leadbitter's strike for Middlesbrough.

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