Pep Guardiola a 'spineless coward', Lionel Messi a 'schoolboy', says Zlatan Ibrahimovic

The Swedish striker says his tenure at Camp Nou was boring and everyone in the club did as they were told.

Updated: September 06, 2013 19:13 IST
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Former Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has called Pep Guardiola a 'spineless coward' in his new autobiography - I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic, according to a report in

Ibrahimovic spoke of how he confronted Guardiola, who was then his manager, in the dressing room following Barcelona's semi-final loss to Inter Milan in the 2009-10 Champions League.

"I yelled: 'You haven't got any b****!' and worse than that I added: 'You can go to hell!' I completely lost it, and you might have expected Guardiola to say a few words in response, but he's a spineless coward. He just picked up the metal box, like a little caretaker, and then left, never to mention it again, not a word."

The Swedish striker also compared Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez to school boys: "I'd already got the impression that Barcelona was a little like being back at Ajax, it was like being back at school. None of the lads acted like superstars, which was strange. Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, the whole gang - they were like schoolboys. The best footballers in the world stood there with their heads bowed, and I didn't understand any of it. It was ridiculous."

The 31-year-old, who joined the Spanish giants in 2009 in a deal worth 57 million pounds, said he felt he life was boring at Camp Nou.

"Everyone did as they were told. I didn't fit in, not at all. I thought, just enjoy the opportunity, don't confirm their prejudices. So I started to adapt and blend in. I became way too nice. It was mental. I said what I thought people wanted me to say. It was completely messed up. I drove the club's Audi and stood there and nodded my head. I hardly even yelled at my team-mates any more. I was boring. Zlatan was no longer Zlatan," he said.

While heaping praise on Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, Ibrahimovic went on to say that Guardiola tried to match up to the Portuguese.

"That guy says whatever he wants. I like him. He's the leader of his army. But he cares, too. He would text me all the time at Inter, wondering how I was doing. He's the exact opposite of Pep Guardiola. If Mourinho lights up a room, Guardiola draws the curtains. I guessed that Guardiola was trying to match up to him. Mourinho would become a guy I was basically willing to die for," said Ibrahimovic, who currently plays for French club Paris Saint-Germain.

Ibrahimovic was loaned out to AC Milan for 2010-12 season from Barcelona. He then signed a three-year contract with PSG in 2012.

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