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Zlatan on Arsenal 'snub': 'I don't do auditions'

AFP/The Local · 5 Mar 2012, 07:49

Published: 05 Mar 2012 07:49 GMT+01:00

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Ibrahimovic was one of Europe's most highly-rated teenage players when he met Wenger in 2000 to discuss a possible move to the Premier League club.

But Wenger was keen to check out Ibrahimovic during a trial first and the Swede was unhappy at what he perceived to be a lack of respect for his talents.

Ibrahimovic told The Sun: "Arsene gave me the famous red and white jersey - the number nine shirt with Ibrahimovic on it and I was so pleased I even posed for a picture wearing it.

"It was a fantastic moment for me. Arsenal had a great team then and here was an Arsenal shirt made just for me.

"So then I waited for him to convince me that I should join Arsenal. But he didn't even try.

"He never actually made me a serious offer, it was more, 'I want to see how good you are, what kind of player you are. Have a trial'.

"I couldn't believe it. I was like, 'No way, Zlatan doesn't do auditions'.

"I thought 'You either know me or you don't and if you don't know me you can't really want me'."

Ibrahimovic instead chose to join Dutch club Ajax before spells at Juventus, Inter Milan and Barcelona.

Story continues below…

The 30-year-old starred as Milan took a 4-0 lead in their Champions League tie against Arsenal last month and he has another chance to show Wenger what he missed out on when the Italian club travel to the Emirates Stadium for the second leg on Tuesday.

"I definitely made the right choice," he added.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:10 March 5, 2012 by dizzy09
the arrogrance
11:18 March 5, 2012 by ulster1690
He is a good player, but not world class!! He is no Rooney, Ronaldo or Messi! He is too arrogrant!!
11:36 March 5, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
As some 'Londoners' might say "fancies hisself don't 'e?"
13:03 March 5, 2012 by psg2785
ulster, it's not because you are arrogant that you can't be world class. i think ibra certainly is very arrogant, but then again, he also is a world class player. Has proved himself time and again.
14:40 March 5, 2012 by StockholmSam
While his skills are world class, his arrogance overshadows everything and for that reason I will never be a Zlatan fan. Any other teenager would kill for the chance to audition for Arsenal. If Z truly believed he had what it takes to be an Arsenal player back then, he would have stepped onto the pitch and proven it. I think he was scared of not succeeding and only now claims that it was his decision to not pursue an opportunity at Arsenal. One huge problem in society today is that teenagers everywhere act just like this, entitled and deserving of respect when they have proven little if anything so far.
17:17 March 5, 2012 by McChatter
Zlatan is not a team player. It doesn't matter for which club he plays - he only plays for himself. Wenger was right to want an "audition". He knew. Ajax didn't and payed the price. They were glad to get rid of him. He doesn't fit into clubs that play team football. Ever seen him defend?
18:23 March 5, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
...Well I think the history of 'forward' players being called on to defend, in a tight game, is not always a happy one in terms of penalties being given away (etc)

Still we'll see how 'great' Zlatan is - if Sweden 'impress' in the European Championships. Swedish players are usually reliable, in terms of the length of time at a club (Mellberg was at Aston Villa, and Ljungberg at Arsenal, for many, many seasons)

Zlatan is the exception to that
18:30 March 5, 2012 by philster61
Ask anybody in the UK if they have heard of him. They will go "who"?

Ask the average person if they have heard of Henke Larsson. They of course say yes.... Larsson was the epitome of class and humility. Abramovic would do best to emulate him....in every way.....
20:02 March 5, 2012 by ulster1690
In my opinion a world class player could make it at any club. Zlatan struggled and didn't make it at Barca and they were glad to get rid of him!!
22:07 March 5, 2012 by BillyB
In 2000 Arsenal had Henry and Bergkamp..so I suspect the real reason he didn't want the trial was because he knew he wouldn't have a prayer of getting into the team.
09:09 March 6, 2012 by EtoileBrilliant
Oh God here we go again. Zlatan world class? Just look at the last 5 years of Zlatan's ranking in the FIFA Baloon D'Or:

2011 - Not even ranked in top 20

2010 - Not even ranked in top 20

2009 - 14th

2008 - 16th

2007 - Not even ranked in top 28

This is a ranking based on football coaches and captains (i.e. his peers), not a group of sycophantic Swedish journalists.

Oh, and for the record - this is a player who has NEVER scored a goal in a world cup final!
11:34 March 13, 2012 by ameribrit
Definately will never be in the same class as Larsson. He is good but not one of the greats. History will forget him pretty quickly.
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