Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has opened up on his difficult childhoodGetty Images

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic thought he would "take over the world" - despite his humble background. The 35-year-old striker grew up in the impoverished district of Rosengard in the Swedish city of Malmo, but that never served to blunt his lofty aspirations.

Ibrahimovic - who scored a record 62 goals in 116 appearances for Sweden before announcing his international retirement over the summer - is to have a statue erected in his honour outside the Friends Arena in Stockholm. And the burly striker, who has a Croatian mother and Bosnian father, has opened up about his upbringing.

"I come from a small area in Malmo - the ghetto, they call it - and I get a statue in the capital city of Sweden," he told United's in-house TV station MUTV. "I wouldn't have believed it because I felt different; I didn't feel like the other ones - where I came from, because of my background. But I believed that I would take over the world, that's for sure."

The statue, created by artist Peter Linde, features Ibrahimovic in a celebratory pose and the United star is delighted with how it looks. "It's like a gesture or a movement from a game - a typical Zlatan movement," the United striker explained. "I've been a little bit critical because I wanted the statue to be like me: massive, powerful, magic, wow.

"All these combinations I wanted to get into it, but he's done a great job - he's a great artist. He has his way of seeing things and he made it like a symbol that would live forever. Normally you get a statue when you pass away, but I am alive. I'm super happy. I'm honoured."