Man United's hopes on Zlatan's 35-year-old shoulders
Super Swede carries Man United and EPL on ageing shoulders
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a rebel with a cause. Himself.
He's the best thing about the dullest Manchester United side since David Moyes and the greatest thing in England since sliced bread.
Of course he isn't, but he genuinely believes that he is, and that's all that matters.
Sport is remembered for its winners, but defined by its showmen.
Any English football compilation of the last 40 years invariably involves Stan Bowles, Charlie George, Matt Le Tissier, David Ginola and Paolo di Canio.
Their outrageous antics are seared into the memory even though their names were rarely inscribed into any silverware of note.
Occasionally, pure alchemy is achieved when the two are mixed, when showmanship is combined with a ruthless winning streak to achieve the perfect football specimen.
Manchester United have achieved the feat remarkably, ridiculously, uniquely, three times with George Best, Eric Cantona and now Sweden's' supreme leader.
Ibrahimovic is a legend in his own living room. His self-belief is absolute, matched only by his rare ability to live up to his own ego.
He's the reason we watch and play football, the PlayStation prince of dreams, the name shouted in improvised commentaries on school playgrounds.
Many footballers win trophies, but Ibrahimovic reaches parts others will never reach.
He goes beyond greatness to touch the dark side in all of us, the rebellious, villainous bit that draws us towards Batman rather than Superman.
He's the Dark Knight who keeps rising, scoring again against Everton to earn Man United a point they didn't deserve in a 1-1 draw yesterday morning (Singapore time.)
The 35-year-old's birth certificate shames every other United player. His 27th goal of the campaign embarrasses his teammates up front.
Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard's job description says "goal-scorer", but recent performances suggest otherwise.
And Ibrahimovic's last-minute penalty humiliates his United manager.
Without the goals of a 35-year-old, Jose Mourinho manages a mid-table side, out of Europe and out of ideas.
Indeed the Swede's age highlights the underlying incompatibility between club and coach.
United's entire post-war legacy was built on youth development, shaping and promoting native and nascent talent like Luke Shaw.
Mourinho doesn't trust him, or Anthony Martial for that matter, preferring instead to play Ashley Young, Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini with Ibrahimovic for a combined aged of 130.
Before the Swede's penalty, United's ponderous, predictable long balls towards Fellaini's afro was the the kind of tepid fare that earned Moyes the sack.
Fortunately, Ibrahimovic intervened, tucking away the penalty and raising his arms to the heavens, demanding the adulation he thoroughly deserved.
He opts for the messianic pose, a god of his own creation.
Cantona turned up the collars and froze, as if standing back to admire his own brilliance.
While Best went for the single arm in the air, signalling his position within the game, number one, untouchable, immortal.
Manchester's finest mavericks are distinguished by different eras, but united by their artistic arrogance, preferring to paint pictures in colour whilst their rivals scribbled away in pencil.
"The Premier League is begging me to stay," Ibrahimovic said after the game, speaking truthfully.
His kind of creative anarchy is dying in the modern game. It's an authentic rebellion from within, rather than a manufactured persona created by a silly haircut or daft photos on Instagram.
Ibrahimovic, like Cantona and Best before him, isn't conceited or controversial to sell jerseys, it's his natural state of being, the fuel that drives the unstoppable engine.
He spoke of his EPL contemporaries Romelu Lukaku and Sergio Aguero as being "good all round", but refused to put himself in their category.
"Lions don't compare themselves with humans," he remarked matter-of-factly, because it was a matter of fact.
Muhammad Ali once shared the same sentiment. The greatest usually do.
United and the EPL should beg Ibrahimovic to stay. He's a model professional, a superior athlete with an outrageous talent and an ego to rival a Roman emperor.
More importantly, he's carried a mediocre United side on ageing shoulders and elevated an otherwise humdrum campaign.
He was truly made for the Theatre of Dreams a decade ago, but his EPL arrival was at least better late than never.
And the extraordinary epilogue to such a storied career should make Ibrahimovic the player of the season.