Zlatan Ibrahimovic made a return to the Manchester United side after injury when he entered the field in the 77th minute against New Castle to a standing ovation at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Comparing himself to a lion, Ibrahimovic said that he has now proved his point rather than just saying it. “I told you, lions don’t recover like humans. That I have now proved, rather than just saying it,” he told MUTV.

“But if people knew what kind of injury I had, they would not believe this. People believe I only had an ACL [anterior cruciate ligament] injury, but I had more stuff in my knee that was injured. I want to keep that to myself, though, because I don’t need to tell the world – it’s very sensitive,” said Ibrahimovic after the match which the Reds 4-1.

Speaking about the cheer and adulation he received from the crowd, he said, “I was very pumped, very honoured, very proud. In that moment, I just wanted to go out, smell the grass and just give back, play my game, touch the ball as much as possible, feel free to play, doing things I did before my injury.”

The Swede, who was out since April with a knee ligament injury, said, “It’s special. Different day, same quality. I am not worried. I am not worried at all because I know what I do. I train hard. I sacrificed a lot. It is not easy, especially in my case. It was not like I went on vacation. I had a different summer because I was without a contract. As soon as I signed I wanted to focus on the team. I wanted to give something to help the team as best as possible. It’s about coming back and making a statement. I’m just thankful I can play football again.”

With inputs from agencies and official website of Manchester United