Manchester: Zlatan Ibrahimovic compared himself to the action movie hero Indiana Jones after scoring his first hat-trick for Manchester United.
Just as fictional archaeologist Jones, played in a series of Hollywood movies by screen star Harrison Ford, usually returns from his adventures with a trophy, so too has the career of the much-travelled Ibrahimovic yielded plenty of silverware.
Ibrahimovic scored all of United’s goals in their 3-0 win at home to French club St Etienne in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 clash on Thursday.
That took the 35-year-old Swede’s tally for United to an impressive 23 goals in all competitions since his pre-season arrival at Old Trafford.
United are now favourites to win European club football’s second-tier tournament as well as next week’s English League Cup final against Premier League rivals Southampton at Wembley.
Ibrahimovic, who has already won the Community Shield since joining United, said after Thursday’s match: “Every trophy for me is incredible, everywhere I came I won so if I can win something here I will be super happy.
“People that know me know that I play in many clubs and I try to do my best.
“Wherever I went I won, so I am like Indiana Jones,” added Ibrahimovic, who has been a member of national championship-winning sides in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and France.
As for his hat-trick against St Etienne, the delighted forward said: “It feels good. I got a lot of help from my team-mates. We played an open game today and it was important to get a good result so we can take it into the second leg.
“We won 3-0 and I got to score the three goals so I am happy for that. We have still many games to play so hopefully I can continue like I am doing.”
Having played at St Etienne during his time in Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain, Ibrahimovic said United had done well to deny the visitors a goal at Old Trafford.
“Exactly. A good result because I know how difficult it is to play over there,” he explained. “They have a fantastic crowd, fantastic support, and the stadium is very nice, so the guys will see it when we go there.
“It is a good team. They always make it difficult for every team they play against and when I was at PSG the same thing.
They did good.
“I think a couple of players are new, a couple of players left, but it is a good team.”