Zlatan recalls how he refused to audition for Arsenal

This Manchester United striker has spoken of the trust he had in himself even during the embryonic stage of his football career.

Ibrahimovic is a man of supreme self-confidence   -  Getty Images

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has recalled why he turned down the chance to have a trial at Arsenal early in his illustrious career.

The Manchester United striker might lead the line against the Gunners on Saturday. United, which is currently second on the Premier League table, will look to keep fourth-placed Arsenal at arm's length by winning at the Emirates Stadium.

Big match focus: Arsenal v Manchester United

But had Ibrahimovic made a different decision, he might have been lining up for Arsene Wenger's team instead. This 36-year-old returned to action on November 19, after recovering from a serious knee injury.

"I went to London for an appointment with Wenger, who asked me to audition for the Gunners," Ibrahimovic told Sky Sport Italia. "I told him 'I will not do a trial: either you take me or not, I'm not here to waste time'.

"I already had that kind of trust [in myself], because in my mind I was the strongest of all even when I was young. I met Wenger because I expected him to tell me to start with them right away. But Ibra does not test.

"When I was young, in my mind no one was better than me. I watched Ronaldo, Romario and [Roberto] Baggio on TV and I had one goal: I wanted to show that I was the best."

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Ibrahimovic, an 11-time league champion across trophy-laden spells at Ajax, Inter, Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain, also provided an insight into his stunning rise from humble beginnings.

"I grew up with my dad. He worked so hard to allow us to live," Ibrahimovic added. "Our refrigerator was never full, we did not have much to eat.

"For example, when we went to play youth tournaments in Germany with Malmo I had to ask for 3,000 SEK [Swedish Krona] from my dad.

"So what did he do? He left me this money and did not pay the rent for a month - he sent me to play these tournaments, because he did everything he could and gave me all the opportunities that were there."

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