Zlatan Ibrahimovic has described Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola as the ‘most immature’ manager he’s had in a long and prestigious career playing for top clubs across Europe.
Manchester United’s Swedish strike played under Guardiola at FC Barcelona, and has never been afraid to express his strong opinions about the current Man City manager.
Ibrahimovic was virtually ignored by Guardiola for some time after complaining about a lack of gametime. Of course, this is the 36-year-old’s side of the story, but it has been shared a number of times.
“The first six months were perfect,” Ibrahimovic said of his time under Guardiola at the Nou Camp. “Then the manager changed system, tactics and it didn’t work for me. I went to talk to him. I’m here to talk, if you think it’s for another reason then we can’t talk.
“I said: ‘I believe that you are sacrificing some players for one player, Messi’. He said: ‘I don’t think this is the case but I understand what you say. I will take care of it, no problem, I will solve everything’. I thought it would be OK.
“The following game I was on the bench. I don’t say anything, I work. Second match bench again. I thought he solved it well and he was not talking to me or explaining. Third match bench. Then the fourth match comes and bench again.
“I think something is strange. From that moment he stopped talking to me, looking at me. I go into a room and he walks out of it. He was not a bad person, but the most immature I’ve had because a man solves his problems.”
It’s the wrong attitude from Guardiola, to ignore the issue. It’s not something that can be done at top clubs, where almost every player has an ego, has the talent to be a starting player.
Particularly for Ibrahimovic, a player of immense quality, a manager should bend over backwards to try and accommodate him in their side, or at least their squad.
There’s certainly no love lost between Ibrahimovic and Guardiola.