Dominik Szoboszlai makes 'arrogant' admission as Liverpool man highlights Zlatan Ibrahimovic approach

Dominik Szoboszlai of Liverpool during the Premier League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield on May 19 2024
-Credit: (Image: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Dominik Szoboszlai believes he is embracing the spirit of Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the Liverpool midfielder dismissed claims of arrogance.

Szoboszlai experienced a mixed debut season at Liverpool following his £60million arrival from RB Leipzig last summer, wa good first half of the campaign followed by a difficult period after the New Year having been disrupted by a hamstring injury.

The 23-year-old nevertheless managed 45 appearances and his tally of seven goals was the most of any Reds midfielder during the term.

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And despite patches of indifferent form, Szoboszlai has not allowed it to affect his levels of self-confidence that he believes is being misconstrued in certain quarters.

“This is how I am, this is my habit," said the Hungary international. "To some, I still seem arrogant. I don't call it arrogance, but self-confidence, as Ibrahimovic once said. You need self-confidence to be able to maintain this level, it is not so simple in everyday life.”

Szoboszlai was bought by departed Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and believes the German played a major part in making Anfield an attractive destination for players.

“Of course, I always knew about LFC, that it was a huge club, even before Klopp, and when he arrived Liverpool became even bigger," he said. "He's been here nine years, I was 14 then, so I only see the time since he's been here. I am very attracted to this place, the team, the people, the players the goals, everything.

"However, there are things that you cannot claim as your own from the first day. You go into the dressing room, and of course they welcome you, but then who do you turn to, who do you talk to? Who do you go to breakfast with, who do you go to the gym with? There are a few there, but they probably don't talk to me because they don't know what the common topic is. This takes time, learning to get to know the other. That was the hard part."

Of Klopp, the midfielder added: "I think he's the best coach I've ever worked with, extra as a human being, extra in football knowledge, extra in his attitude towards players, extra in his attitude towards the team.”

Szoboszlai has also spoken about his relationship with Trent-Alexander Arnold, who he regards as one of his closest friends in the Liverpool squad. "At first he was distant," he said. "But then he realised that my temperament was similar to his, and we started to get closer to each other.”

Speaking in a wide-ranging interview for Forbes magazine in Hungary, Szoboszlai believes the national team - of which he is captain - can cause a stir in the forthcoming European Championships, where they will face hosts Germany, Switzerland and Scotland in the group stage.

"I think there really is no ceiling in terms of the fact that we played many times against many strong national teams, and we were always able to hold our own," he said. "It is difficult to compare, because when you have a squad that performs every single time in a top club, in a top league, it is used to a different intensity.

"But I'll say it again: it doesn't matter if the players are among the players who play in the NB I (Hungary domestic top flight) or in a non-top league team, because they can still do everything to make the team successful, and that's the most important thing."