Never one to mince his words, former Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic remains one of the most enigmatic characters in world football today.

Ibrahimovic was on United’s books between 2016 and 2018, scoring 28 goals in 46 appearances during his first season at the club, playing a huge part in the Reds winning the Community Shield, Carabao Cup and Europa League.

Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were team-mates at Manchester United

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Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were team-mates at Manchester United

In a wide-ranging interview with La Gazetta dello Sport back in 2019, the 38-year-old discussed his ex-United team-mate, Romelu Lukaku, who he has now clashed with in the Milan derby.

The AC Milan striker was far from complementary when discussing the Belgian’s technique and revealed he made a bet with the powerful forward while the pair were together at Old Trafford – which Lukaku turned down.

“I will say this on Romelu: don’t expect good technique from Lukaku. His best strength is sheer power. If only he’d listened to me,” he said.

“At Manchester United, we made a bet: ‘I’ll give you £50 for every decent first touch you make.

“‘He replied: ‘What do I win if I get them all right?’ I told him nothing, he would simply become a better player.

“For the record, he never accepted the bet! Perhaps he was afraid of losing?!

“Joking aside, Lukaku has this mad hunger to prove himself to the world and I’m sure he will do well at Inter too.”

Fast forward to 2021, and the pair had to be separated by teammates on the stroke of half time of the Coppa Italia quarter-final clash.

The strikers butted heads as they traded insults.

Both players were booked for their part in the confrontation but Ibrahimovic appeared more in control than the Inter Milan frontman.

Ibrahimovic gave AC Milan the lead earlier, however, his game came to an end when he was given his second booking on 58 minutes.

And of course Lukaku wasn’t done there as he grabbed Inter’s equaliser with a goal from the spot in the 71st minute.


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