Zlatan on ‘agreement’ with Napoli, clash with Lukaku and Allegri’s return to Juve

by | Dec 1, 2021 08:50

Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic revealed he was on the verge of joining Napoli, spoke about the clash with Romelu Lukaku and claimed Max Allegri made the ‘comfortable choice’ when he returned to Juventus.

Ibrahimovic’s new book ‘Adrenaline: My untold story’ will be released tomorrow and the 40-year-old gave an in-depth interview with Corriere della Sera.

The veteran revealed he was on the verge of signing with Napoli before returning to Milanello in January 2020.

He has since helped the Rossoneri turn around a difficult situation, as Stefano Pioli’s men are now fighting at the top of Italian football and returned to the Champions League in 2021-22.

But Zlatan revealed he was inspired by Diego Maradona and wanted a move to the Partenopei.

“Maradona is a legend,” Ibrahimovic said. “I watched a documentary about him and decided to go to Napoli, to do like Diego: win the Scudetto.

“I was tired of America. I thought I would quit. Raiola told me: ‘You’re crazy, you have to go back to Italy’.

“It had reached an agreement with Napoli, but then [President Aurelio] De Laurentiis kicked out [Carlo] Ancelotti.

“I asked Mino: ‘Which team is worse off, that I can change?’ He replied: ‘Yesterday, Milan lost 5-0 in Bergamo’. It was decided, I said: ‘Let’s go to Milan. It’s a club I know, a city I like’.”

The Sweden international was asked about his clash with Romelu Lukaku, after both players were found guilty of unsporting behaviour following the clash that occurred during the Coppa Italia quarter-final on January 26.

Ibrahimovic opens up about surprising Milan, retirement and intentional foul on Azpilicueta

The two were involved in a scuffle at the end of the first half, after going face-to-face, before Inter players had to physically restrain the Belgian striker.

“The Coppa Italia derby,” Ibrahimovic said. “He first argued with [Alessio] Romagnoli, then with [Alexis] Saelemaekers.

“I intervened to defend my teammates and Lukaku attacked me on a personal level. I was shocked. We ever were teammates at Manchester United.

“Lukaku has a great ego, he thinks he’s a champion and he’s really strong. But I grew up in the Malmö ghetto, and when someone comes under me with his head down, I put him in his place.

“So, I hit him in his sweet spot: his Mum’s rituals. And he lost control. Although, I still have a terrible doubt… we lost that derby. I was sent off. Then I got injured. A lot of bad things happened. You’ll see that the Lukaku rituals really got me?

“I asked my believing friends to pray for me. I have to settle the bill with him too. I hope to meet him soon. On the street? No, these are things that must be resolved on the pitch. I don’t hate anyone, much less Lukaku.”

Ibrahimovic won the Scudetto at Milan with Allegri at the helm and spoke about the current Juventus coach, who returned to replace Andrea Pirlo at the Allianz Stadium ahead of the 2021-22 season.

The striker believes Allegri should have joined Real Madrid when he had the chance, but believes he chose the ‘comfortable’ over a big challenge abroad.

“With Milan, we had lost 3-0 to Arsenal in the Champions League and he was all happy,” Ibrahimovic said. “It’s true that we went through, but there was nothing to laugh about, and I pointed it out to him.

“He told me to think about myself, that I played bad. I replied that he did bad: over fear he had brought two goalkeepers on the bench…

“Allegri is very good at managing the locker room, but he had to have more courage. He should have gone to Real Madrid, to measure himself in foreign countries. Instead, he made the comfortable choice.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

2 Comments

  1. Louch

    Nice sideswipe on allegri. The lack of courage is replicated on the field.

  2. Dm

    Agree Allegri lack of courage it stood out a mile during his Juve heyday when playing in CL

    He’s lacking courage even now what a coward and some people on this site even rate this man highly

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