Zlatan held a press conference in Stockholm, Sweden before the important EURO qualification-game vs Montenegro on Saturday.
ABOUT THE INJURY
ZLATAN: It's the achillens tendon, which has been injured. And it hasn't healed in the way it should have. And then maybe I played again too soon and halted the healing process. So it's taken a little longer than it should have.
Have you been worried?
ZLATAN: No, but it's been hard because I haven't had a time where I know I would be back. They haven't said "one week, two weeks..", it's been more "How do you feel today?" "We'll see tomorrow how it feels", and that's been the hardest. If somebody said "one month, one year, two..", it wouldn't have mattered as long as I had a time period I could focus on, when to get back. But it's been the opposite, I haven't had that answer. So I've just been around, practicing and came to the training ground in the morning and said "No, no, it still hurts." So that's been the hardest.
Is it an injury that was a bit scary to play with in the last game?
ZLATAN: No, now it feels good. Because now I can train hard, or at least much more than i did before. And the pain has gone away almost completely. When I put more effort in, it feels a little but it's better than it was before. The pain can come back but the warmer I get, the more it disappears.
If you look back on previous injuries, do you remember how it's been when you get back after the injury, how the form usually is?
ZLATAN: I think it's mainly the stamina, which can be the hard part considering the situation I've had now. I haven't been on the pitch for 1 1/2 month, played only 30 minutes last game and only 3-4 days before I was able to run on the pitch without football shoes. Then we built it up but it went quickly for those 3-4 days. But the touch on
the ball... No. It'is there. I hope. (*smile)
How do you see the chances of you being in the starting 11 on Saturday?
ZLATAN: We'll see. We will build this up in the week to be able to play. That's why you don't want to work too hard too soon. So we're building it up and I should be ready for the game.
Your roots are from Balkan and now you're facing Montenegro. Do you have any idea why the countries down there are so good in large ball sports?
ZLATAN: I don't know. Maybe it's in the genes. I'm born in Sweden so I speak for Sweden.
I didn't mean around you specifically, more generally.
ZLATAN: I don't have a clue. You should ask me about Sweden. I know everything about Sweden, some about them (*smile).
To go to one of these games, where you are expected to win, pretty tough circumstances.. Do you look forward to those games?
ZLATAN: Expected to win? We always want to win, absolutely. Every game we go in to we have an attitude to win. We are playing a good opponent, very good.
We studied them a bit yesterday and they played well against Austria, they didn't make it easy for Austria. They have many good individual players so it's not an easy game
at all. It's a game we have to work through and be our best to be able to get the points we need.
You play in black boots nowaday. Are you switching shoe brand?
ZLATAN: No, the contract expired two-three weeks ago and there is no new one. Disussions are being held so we'll see.
Isn't it difficult to change shoes when you are used to playing with a shoe you like?
ZLATAN: No, you play in the shoes the people who pay put on your shoes. That's how it works on this level. Then they find a shoe for you and adjust it to your foot. That's how it is.
We were told that you and the medical team found something out about the injury last week. Was that the case, did you get any news about it last week?
ZLATAN: No, we've had a good grasp on it but we didn't know where in the healing process I was, considering they didn't really see what it was in the beginning. When we found out what it was, we didn't know if we were two or three weeks in the healing process, so that's where it's been some questions. But know it feels better. Three-four days before I played the last game with the club, everything turned. The pain disappeared and I could jog again. I haven't been able to jog for 1 1/2 month.
Are you eating piils or taking injections for the pain?
ZLATAN: In the beginning I did, the first two games (Ajax and Lyon). And that's where I think something happened. which wasn't supposed to happen. But now nothing (pills or injections). I was home in Sweden and did a MRI-scan on the 3rd and then we saw that there was still fluids in my achillens tendon. After that I took piils for two days to remove the fluids, and then everything turned around on those two days.
We've seen a more private side of you with for example the documentary. Has it been difficult to open up the private side and what reactions have you had?
ZLATAN: It hasn't been difficult, it's more that I wanted to share my side. There are many out there who wanted answers, and I got the chance to express myself, and not through you (the media), but directly to the people, to the fans who look up to me, support me and are behind and push me. It was my chance to express myself. And my father wanted it as well, he has his view on the whole thing so we thought he should be able to express himself so noone ends up in the shadows. It's been positive, everything has been good. But it's not supposed to be that people say "What a great documentary", it should be more that they should know the full story.
You've seen the Montenegro team and the two best players are probably the two "italians" , what can you say about them (Vučinić and Jovetić)?
ZLATAN: Good players. I remember Vučinić from Italy when he played in Roma and then he went to Juventus. He's a top player, he is the brain in that team. He likes to have the ball alot and control the game by sinking deep and also finishing attacks. Jovetić dominated in Fiorentina, he hasn't played as much in City but that doesn't mean
he's a worse player. He's as dangerous as he was in Fiorentina so it's two players to watch out for.
You are soon playing France (18 November). Do you think it will be special to play in France and what do you think about the French team?
ZLATAN: I think every time I play in the Swedish jersey it's very special so it doesn't matter if it's against France, Montenegro or another team and first of all my focus is in Montenegro because that is the first game and it's a qualification-game. So the France-game has to come afterwards and I haven't thought alot about it but I think they have a fantastic team, many young players getting alot of responsibility so I think they have a good chance to do something big.
Was it important that you yourself were apart of the documentary, you are part owner of it etc?
ZLATAN: Am I? Am I part owner?
Z: Is that important?
J: No, I'm wondering if it was important for you.
Z: No, but it seems important to you. Based on that you are mentioning it. It doesn't matter who owns it, does it? But of course I'm gonna be apart of it if it's about me. I know what I'm gonna say and what's happened but there are other people behind how it's being presented. But who is owner and that doesn't matter, does it?
J: How did the idea come up and how did the work progress?
Z: Firstly it was about these Swedish national team goals, and then things were added in the process so of course I wanted to be apart of it since I'm behind it. It's the same thing with the book (Zlatan's autobiography), it's the same with your blog (The journalist writes a quite big football-blog), right? Aren't you behind that?
Z: There you go. There is no difference. Are you the owner of the blog?
Z: Too bad. You should get a new agent. (*smiles)
You've before talked about John Guidetti and said it should happen more on the pitch. Now he's back in the Swedish national team, what do you say about that?
ZLATAN: Good, very good. It means he has listened. Or.. listened and listened, it means that things have happened. He has been playing, scoring alot of goals, and
doing what he should be doing. That's how he should continue and let the feet speak for him. He has done it really well, that's why he is here in the national team. He has played in U21 and performed fantastic so it's just to keep going. The door has always been open but everything is about how well you play for your club. It's not just about him, it's the whole squad. If you don't perform, how are you gonna be selected in the national team? Everything comes down to how you perform in your club team, then you get the chance here. You can see that several players from Allsvenskan (Swedish league) are coming in so everything is about how you perform. Then it's up to Erik (Hamrén, Sweden manager) who he selects, who fits the best and who he gives the chance.
You've previously said that you are worried about what happens after you retire (in Sweden), now we see alot of young players in the team.
ZLATAN: So everybody has listened (*smiles).
What's your take on that? Do you welcome them in any special way?
ZLATAN: I think it's positive. They are the ones who have to come after. I'm not talking about what they will do and how they will develop, I'm talking about the present. This time there are extremely many new players but it's good with new blood, new energy, new players. They come in and shoudn't show too much respect but come here and play their game. To what they can and help us reach our goal and that's the EURO.
Another Swedish Football Awards and there has been alot of debate about men vs women, what's your take on it?
ZLATAN: I don't know, the only thing I see in the newspaper is that someone complains, someone is positive. It's like it's been all these years. It was a fantastic award show even if it was sad (two Swedish players had died and where tributed). I have been to many award shows.. What do you want? Do you want show or should you give out the awards to the people who deserve it? What do you want? You present awards and there is show in between and then everyone goes home. I don't understand what you want to get out of a football awards show. I don't know how many people were there, is everyone supposed to get an award to be happy? It's an award show we are talking about, it's about showing the players who have been the best and I think it's a shame about those who complain but you (media) are the ones who make it bigger than it should have been. For me it's not a big issue, I thought it was an awesome show.
It was mainly about them not highlighting Therese Sjogran (Swedish female player who has played most caps of all time) and that she had played 200 games, what do you think?
ZLATAN: I'm not involved in that. I don't have a clue. I don't even know what happened. Something TV4, here and there.. Swedish FA, here and there.. It's not my area. I got my award and I'm happy.
MORE ABOUT THE GAME SATURDAY
Are you ready for 90 minutes?
ZLATAN: We'll see. I didn't think I would be able to play 30 minutes last game but the adrenaline and the motivation was there so I just went for it. I didn't think about how much I could take, I just played. I was just happy to be able to get on the pitch and show what I can do. Just that gives you extra energy, so I didn't think bout the injury at all. I just went for it.
Source: Swedish FA.