Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the striker for AC Milan, has made fun of Pep Guardiola in his most recent book and hinted that his feud with Romelu Lukaku may continue now that Lukaku is back in Serie A.
In his most recent book, “Adrenaline: My Untold Stories,” the Swedish player recalls the infamous brawl with Marco Materazzi in 2010 that resulted in the defender being sent to the hospital after receiving an elbow to the temple.
Since his brief time working under Guardiola at Barcelona in 2009–10, Ibrahimovic has been vocal in his disdain of the Spaniard, and in the publication, he has again questioned his leadership style.
What transpired between Guardiola and Zlatan Ibrahimovic?
The now Manchester City manager chose to trade Ibrahimovic after a season at FC Barcelona and constructed his team around Messi, with Ibrahimovic dubbing Guardiola a ‘coward’ for supposedly never being upfront with him about why he had fallen out of favor.
What has Ibrahimovic said about Guardiola?
When describing his relationship with Guardiola, Ibrahimovic once said, “When you buy me, you are purchasing a Ferrari.” He also accused Guardiola of giving him diesel instead of premium fuel.
As he stated in his “Adrenaline” offering, the 40-year-old still thinks the current Manchester City manager’s man-management abilities are on the low: “The ‘Philosopher’ loves players who obey without talking back”, the veteran Swedish football icon claimed.
Why did Barcelona sell Zlatan Ibrahimovic?
Ibrahimovic and Pep Guardiola had disagreements at FC Barcelona. Then, it appeared that Ibrahimovic disliked the team and its players. His autobiography, in which Pep Guardiola and legendary Barca players like Lionel Messi are assaulted, serves as proof.
Ibrahimovic ultimately transferred from FC Barcelona to AC Milan due to the feud between him and the Spanish tactician then.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic goes IN on Pep Guardiola 😱— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) July 29, 2022
It's no secret the pair never saw each to eye during their time at Barcelona together.
The Swede lasted just one season at the Catalan club and has spilled the beans on the relationship with his former manager.#LaLiga #OptusSport pic.twitter.com/1ZJRzhQyWx
The conflict between Ibrahimovic and Lukaku
During a Coppa Italia match between Milan and Inter in January 2021, Ibrahimovic and Lukaku came dangerously close to colliding on the field as the Swedish player stepped up to his opponent in support of his teammate Alexis Saelemaekers.
Ibrahimovic reportedly told Lukaku that “I’m going to break every bone in your body if you open your mouth.”
The players then got into a shoving fight and began exchanging insults; at this point, according to Ibrahimovic, he lunged for Lukaku’s “Achilles’ heel.”
During the fight, Ibrahimovic yelled, “Go tell your mother to cast a voodoo charm for you.”
“I’m going to put three bullets in your head,” Lukaku allegedly yelled back at Ibrahimovic from the San Siro tunnel door, according to Ibrahimovic.
That summer, Lukaku rejoined Chelsea, while Ibrahimovic went on to assist Milan in winning the Scudetto in the 2021–2022 season.
Due to severe injury issues, the experienced striker was only able to contribute in a limited capacity and has been speculating that Lukaku may have cursed him.
He wrote in his book, “Could it have been that Lukaku had carried out some voodoo spell to harm me?”
Lukaku is currently back at Inter on loan after a dismal first year back at Stamford Bridge, and Ibrahimovic has hinted that their rivalry might be renewed. “In my mind, I determined that I had to settle things with Lukaku out on the pitch, the same way I had done with [Marco] Materazzi.
“We didn’t play them in the Champions League because he left Serie A, which is a shame. However, there will be further opportunities.”