Zlatan Ibrahimovic getting a kick out of making critics "eat their balls"

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has also made a point of praising Maroune Fellaini

Zlatan Ibrahimovic getting a kick out of making critics "eat their balls"

Picture by Richard Sellers EMPICS Sport

Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he is getting a kick out proving his critics wrong at Manchester United this season.

The Swedish veteran might not have scored against Middlesbrough on New Year's Eve but prior to that he had bagged eight goals in eight.

His Premier League goal rate now stands at 12 in 18 matches, with a total of five more goals in other competitions as he nears the 20-goal mark for the season already.

The 35-year-old was typically blunt as he finds his own and United's recent form leaving critics with little to discuss.

"I had a fantastic year, I am not complaining. I came to United, my first six months here has been more than amazing. I am super happy and let’s hope we can continue the ride and keep going. I feel good. I don’t know how many years I have left but I am enjoying the football. I came to the Premier League and everyone thought it would not be possible but like always I make them eat their balls," he said.

Ibrahimovic also added that he is "energised" by the prospect of proving who "get paid to talk sh*t" wrong.

Meanwhile, after a high profile error to concede an equalising penalty in a draw against Everton in early December, Marouane Fellaini's stock among a section of Manchester United was almost as low as one could go.

The Belgian midfielder's physical approach makes his a decent option as an impact sub at Old Trafford but performances have not often endeared him to the support base.

However, it seems manager Jose Mourinho still values what the 29-year-old can bring to the team when he is granted time on the field.

The ex-Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid boss took time to praise Fellaini after the 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough when the 74 time Belgium cap started the match, before being replaced by Juan Mata on 64 minutes shortly before Boro scored.

I'm really happy with Fellaini. I'm really happy with the way he played," Mourinho said to reporters after the game.

"The connection with the fans, I think they realised how useful he is, they realised how much he is with the team."