He’s one of the most famous footballers in the world — and there’s a reason for that, according to Zlatan Ibrahimovic — an obsession with being the best.
“When I do something, I am not there to be number two or number three — I am there to be number one, or else I don’t see it as a challenge,” the 34-year-old Ibrahimovic told CNN ahead of Euro 2016 — which kicks off Friday.
“Being among many is easy,” added Sweden’s captain. “Being the number one is difficult.”
Ibrahimovic, who has played for some of world soccer’s leading clubs and has cost a total $180 million in transfer fees — the second-largest sum of all time — said he’s achieved success through “fighting harder, training harder than the others.”
The mercurial superstar is hoping that singular focus mean a successful launch for his A-Z sportswear clothing range, which he labels “the people’s brand.”
“Only one thing can take you from A to Z — you,” said Ibrahimovic, speaking at his brand’s launch in Paris.
“Everything is in your head. If you want to become something, you will become it.”
“I am not after the luxury market — I want to reach out to everyone,” added Ibrahimovic, who is Sweden’s all-time leading goalscorer. “It is the people’s brand and I am the people’s man.
“Luxury stuff will not make you be better. It will not make you be the one I am today.”
Ibrahimovic is rated by Forbes as the third most valuable footballer in the world, behind only Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
Last month, he announced that he would be leaving French champion Paris Saint-Germain, having won four straight Ligue 1 titles and seven cup competitions with the club.
On Twitter, he wrote that he “came like a king, left like a legend.”
He has been linked with a move to English Premier League giant Manchester United, MLS side Los Angeles Galaxy and a return to Italian giants AC Milan, where he spent two seasons between 2010 and 2012.