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Bad Blood

'He wasn’t the worst coach I'd worked under, but he was certainly the most immature'

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has criticised Pep Guardiola over the pair’s relationship at Barcelona.

ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC SAYS Pep Guardiola is the most “immature” coach he has worked with over his distinguished football career.

Guardiola’s Manchester City came out on top in Sunday’s Premier League derby clash with Ibrahimovic’s United at Old Trafford, with the pair having had a stormy relationship during their time at Barcelona.

Ibrahimovic moved to Camp Nou from Inter in 2009, but spent a single season under Guardiola’s leadership before returning to Serie A, joining AC Milan.

Although Guardiola and Ibrahimovic won the 2009-10 LaLiga title together, the former Sweden striker was unimpressed with the way the Catalan handled him and star man Lionel Messi.

“I’d scored a lot of goals in my first six months and we won two Super Cups,” Ibrahimovic told Sky Italia. “The first six months were perfect. After that, we changed system and tactics and it wasn’t good for me, so the club told me to talk to Guardiola.

And I told Guardiola that he’d sacrificed the other players for Messi. He told me he understood me. After that, he put me on the bench for the next game, the one after that and the one after that.

“I thought, ‘he’s solved the problem very well I see!’ After that, he didn’t talk to me or even look at me. I’d walk into a room and he’d walk out. I’d go to meet him and he’d go somewhere else.

“I understood that there was something beyond football. But the problem was his, it was he who hadn’t solved the problem with me.”

Ibrahimovic revealed how he immediately got off on the wrong foot with Guardiola, a two-time Champions League winner from his time in charge of the Liga giants, on his arrival at Barcelona.

“I remember on my first day, he told me that the Barcelona players didn’t turn up to training in Ferraris or Porsches,” the 36-year-old said.

“He’d already judged me then, but if you don’t know a person then you can’t judge them. I had my experience with him, I don’t know about others. But I read the same thing had happened to [Mario] Mandzukic and [Samuel] Eto’o.

He wasn’t the worst coach I’d worked under, but he was certainly the most immature – because a man solves his problems.”

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