Zlatan Ibrahimovic (A-Z) : "Football, that's the easy part"
How long have you been working on the label and why did decide to launch it?
Zlatan Ibrahimovic : We launched the business a year-and-half ago. They told me it wasn't possible to have everything ready with such little time, but I wanted it to be ready for Euro 2016, so it came at the same time as Euro 2016. After 15 years of professional football, I've worked with major companies, and have worn a variety of different clothing...When I had the opportunity to create this brand, it's like a dream came true. I only needed to find a suitable partner, which I did, and now here we are. I've had to train each day, very hard, and I know what people who train hard need. I know what it costs to become someone. You can be successful even without being a professional.
You've played in Turin, Milan and Paris, you've created a fragrance and clothing brand... One could say that you're a fashionista?
ZI : With fragrance, it's the fashion world. But with the clothing, it's more about Zlatan's obsessive training. Yes, fashion is involved, but it's more important to feel good in the clothes. When you train, you have to feel good.
Are you going to ask your former team mates at PSG to wear your brand?
ZI: I don't need to, I know the product quality. It speaks for itself. But I will give then something so they can train well and feel good. There's even something for Marco Verratti, we have adult sizes and a children's size so he could put that one on (laughs). Perhaps we'll be PSG's sponsor next season, who knows? But I'm not focused on football, for me football is the easy part. There's someone I'd like to have on board, but he has nothing to do with football, and that's Conor McGregor, the UFC fighter (extreme combat sport). He's the main goal, I don't need the rest. He is exactly what I'm looking for, the Ibrahimovic of the UFC. He is me. He says what he thinks, he says what he wants, and he acts how he wants, he has the confidence to do so. He stays true to who he is, he looks ahead ... He reminds me of myself when I was young.
You almost didn't get to Euro 2016. Were you afraid of missing the competition?
ZI : It's true, I was on the verge of not going. There's a lot of pressure, whatever you play. Everything I do and wherever I go is under pressure. But the pressure comes from me. There's still pressure that comes from the outside, but most of the pressure comes from within me. It carries me. I love to play under pressure. Being afraid, it's not an option. For me, fear isn't viable, to be afraid of losing, of not reaching your goals, it's not possible, because if you think like that, you can't do what you are good at. I have confidence in myself no matter what I do and I know that I will succeed.
Interview by Corentin Dautreppe
Translated by Benjamin Fitzgerald
Copyright © 2019 AFP. All rights reserved. All information displayed in this section (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the contents of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presses.