Zlatan Ibrahimovic has shrugged off the challenge of beating Lionel Messi to become the world’s top striker in 2016 as “just another day at work”.
Ibrahimovic needs two goals against Middlesbrough tomorrow at Old Trafford to surpass Messi’s haul of 51 club strikes to end the year as the world’s leading scorer.
The Manchester United hitman has netted 17 times to add to the 33 he bagged for Paris St Germain in the first half of the year and is typically chilled about overhauling Messi.
“I go into a season to do better than last season,” said the super-confident Swede. “I know my last season was perfect, so I try to do it more than perfect and this is what I’ve been doing for the last
“So what I’m doing now is nothing new, it’s just another season in my story so there is nothing new.
“Apparently it is news for many of them, but the people who know me, players who played with me, they know it’s just another day at work.”
Ibrahimovic, 35, who has won the league in Holland, Spain, Italy and France, sets his sights high and insists United’s title hopes are not over.
Jose Mourinho’s side are 13 points behind leaders Chelsea, despite winning their last four league games, but the former Barcelona, Juventus and Inter Milan star claims they can be caught.
“I think so,” he told ESPN . “We had our up and down moments, winning losing, winning losing.
“We had our moments where the results haven’t been what they should have been after good performances, but we are still there and we have been closing the gap.
“So hopefully the other teams can make some mistakes and close the gap even more and push the gap between other teams.
“We are working hard for it, believing in it, we are here to win. We have no excuses, we are here for what we are able to want and do and that’s win a title.”
Although Ibrahimovic is satisfied with how he has adapted to English football, he is not happy with United’s league position.
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“I feel good,” he said. “A lot of things have been happening and I’m enjoying, adapting to the game, I feel comfortable. So, about the collective results, it has been up and down.
“The last period has been good and hopefully we can continue with this winning streak. We are working very hard.
“We all go in the same direction, where we want to win, but to do that you need to win the games and work hard and that’s what we are doing.
“So yeah, I’m happy, but I could be happier.”
Mourinho wants Ibrahimovic to exercise the clause in his contract to remain at United next season and the Scandinavian says he has no plans to quit any time soon.
“As long as I feel physically good, I’m not worried for what can happen on the field because in my mind I know what I’m able to do and I’m doing it,” he said.
“So I don’t know, depends on the circumstances, a lot of things fitting for me to continue.”