Zlatan Ibrahimovic still considers Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho to be “the Special One”, but admits he needs another trophy to remain on top.
The enigmatic Swedish striker recently departed Old Trafford to link up with MLS side LA Galaxy.
A second stint with United did not go to plan, amid ongoing fitness issues, but Ibrahimovic’s debut campaign did deliver 28 goals and three trophies.
Mourinho is now chasing down more silverware, with the FA Cup up for grabs, and the Portuguese is being backed to cement a standing among the global managerial elite.
Ibrahimovic told ESPN FC on a coach he has also worked with at Italian giants Inter: “I like Mourinho. He is the Special One.
“He likes to win. Wherever he went he won. He made me feel comfortable. He gave me a lot of responsibility. He said to me the only problem he had with me was when could he rest me.
“They've been doing it good. Let's hope, there's one last trophy to play for, and that's the FA Cup. So hopefully they win it.
“Last year we had a big success with the three trophies. With a new team like that -- new coach, couple of new players -- and hopefully that rings on, because as a top team, like United, you need to keep winning, because that is the status of the club.
“You need to win. And if you're not winning, you're not belonging to the top.”
Ibrahimovic may no longer be chasing down honours in England, but he does have other goals to aim at.
He made an immediate impact on his Galaxy debut with a match-winning brace in the Los Angeles derby and, as he feels more settled in America, is still harbouring ambitions of coming out of international retirement to aid Sweden’s cause at the 2018 World Cup.
“I mean, today I just want to play football,” he added.
“I just want to feel good, play. And the other day I played 20 minutes, I think, and I've been training. I want to settle in, feel comfortable and do what I'm good at -- feel free in my game.
“So to think about the national team is a next step, but I don't think we're there yet. It's all about how I feel and what I want. To worry about football, we should not. We should worry about what I want.
“Everybody wants to play in the World Cup. I was super happy [for Sweden] because there's been a lot of talks - if I'm not there, what will happen? Normal kind of talks.
“When they succeed, I was the happiest, because you want to see your country play in the best scene in the world, and that's World Cup. So you just want to see them succeed.
“That is what I represented, and I want the other players to take it further and make it even better. So I'm just super positive and happy for them.”
It has been revealed that a FIFA rule may scupper Ibrahimovic’s dreams, with the 36-year-old having recently committed to a commercial partnership with gambling operator Bethard.