Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho praises striker

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic also scored in the Community Shield

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is "more than a player" after scoring on his Premier League debut, says Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho.

The Swede, 34, scored from 25 yards as United won 3-1 at Bournemouth in their first league game under Mourinho.

"I think he can be phenomenal for the team and the Premier League," Mourinho told BBC Sport.

"He's the profile of a player the Premier League has to be pleased to have."

Ibrahimovic joined Manchester United to much fanfare this summer after leaving Paris St-Germain, where he broke the club's all-time scoring record with 156 goals in his four years.

Following his strike at Bournemouth, he has scored on his debuts in the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 and the Champions League. He has also scored on his competitive debut for Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Paris St-Germain and now United.

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Mourinho 'very happy' with win at Bournemouth

Mourinho, who also managed the striker at Inter, thinks he should have won the Ballon d'Or for world player of the year during his career. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have won the last eight between them.

"The Golden Ball was there but it was always going to two guys with a better political entourage," said Mourinho. "It's incredible how this man never won the Golden Ball. But at this moment in his career, he wants to win the Premier League, not the Golden Ball."

The Portuguese manager also praised the veteran's influence on the club's youngsters.

"His table for meals is surrounded by kids - Luke Shaw, Marcus Rashford. They are the guys with him at the table. He knows what he can be for them. Forget that he is 34, the body and the mentality is not of 34. He is at the top of his qualities."

Ibrahimovic was unusually modest in his post-match interview, telling Sky Sports: "I try to do my job and help my team. The first objective is to win, it's also good if I score - but it's the same importance whoever scores."

What happens now Pogba comes in?

Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba was banned for United's game with Bournemouth as a result of two Italian Cup bookings last season, something Mourinho was not aware of when he signed

Mourinho was asked what will happen now that £89m world record signing Paul Pogba is available following suspension, and whether Juan Mata or Wayne Rooney - the other two goalscorers at Bournemouth - will lose their place.

"Pogba is very good, he's a phenomenal player," said Mourinho. "Our idea is that he will be a very important player for us.

"But the reality is the month of August is a month for the players to feel frustration because you play one match per week. I have to select people and the ones not playing, they are frustrated.

"But in September, we have the League Cup, Europa League, Premier League and players are with their national teams. Then starts the real marathon and there is space for everybody. That's why we have such a good squad."

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