Marco Verratti claims Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic once branded himself Jesus and lauded his team-mate’s self-confidence for helping to mold him into the player he is today.
The 33-year-old has developed into PSG’s undisputed star player since joining the club from AC Milan in 2012, helping the Parisiens to back-to-back titles.
Verratti vividly remembers a moment in 2012-13 where Ibrahimovic inspired then head coach Carlo Ancelotti with some encouraging words.
“Before winning the 2012-13 league title, we were getting ready to play against Lyon. Carlo Ancelotti was a bit tense, so Ibra approached him and asked him if he believed in Jesus. Ancelotti said yes, so Ibra told him: ‘Good, so you believe in me. You can relax!'” Verratti told FourFourTwo.
“Zlatan is like this – he has a lot of self-confidence. This helps him to be a great player.
“Some of the plays you see him do during a match – they don’t just happen. He works on everything in training.
“He has a co-ordination and creativity that very few players have. We are starting to get used to the amazing goals he scores.”
Ibrahimovic has netted 13 goals in 16 appearances in all competitions so far this term.