By Dominic Toner
Leeds defender Pontus Jansson has revealed that he felt he could compete with anyone after a battle with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The centre-back has made quite an impact at Elland Road this season and helped the club to 10th in the Championship, just three points adrift of the play-off places.
Jansson, 25, has made a strong start in his first taste of English football and is a regular starter under manager Garry Monk.
The Swedish international has revealed that winning a contest against compatriot Ibrahimovic in 2011 was the turning point in his career.
Current Manchester United striker Ibrahimovic is regarded as one of the top strikers in Europe in the last decade, scoring 379 goals in 643 career matches.
Jansson has explained that he gained great confidence after a successful battle with the world-class striker, which he encountered in a friendly while playing for Swedish side Malmo.
“Everything changed for me at that moment,” Jansson said on a Facebook chat, as quoted by Sky Sports. “We had a 50/50 tackle and I gave everything and so did he. He fell to the ground and I was standing up.
“I thought if I can do that to Zlatan I can do it to anyone. It was an important moment for me and my career.”
On-loan Jansson has become a firm favourite at Elland Road since his arrival from Italian side Torino in the summer.
He has formed a strong partnership alongside centre-back Kyle Bartley in defence and the pair are Monk’s first-choice options.
The Swede has now made 10 appearances for the club and has helped them recover from a poor start to the season.
In other Leeds news, Chris Wood has shared what the club’s unbelievable secret weapon is.