Ibrahimovic wanted to join Mourinho at Real Madrid to take revenge on Guardiola: Agent
Zlatan Ibrahimovic reportedly wanted to join Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid to extract a ‘perfect revenge’ on Pep Guardiola, according to the Swede’s agent. Ibrahimovic only lasted one season at Barcelona after his high-profile transfer from Inter Milan in 2009.
The current Paris Saint-Germain star moved to AC Milan after leaving Camp Nou in August 2010, but the striker was eager to join his former Inter boss Jose Mourinho who was the manager of Real Madrid at the time. The Swedish striker left the Catalan club after a much publicized falling out with Guardiola. He has regularly criticised Guardiola ever since, nicknaming him “The Philosopher”. He also called his former manager “a coward” and suggested the Spaniard may be “scared” of him.
When asked if Ibrahimovic ever regretted never having played for Real Madrid, agent Mino Raiola said, “I don't think he regrets anything [but] Zlatan wanted to play for Real when he left Barca. It would have been the ideal move – the perfect revenge against Guardiola.”
Asked about the 33-year-old’s ordeal at the Camp Nou, Raiola said, “Only 'The Philosopher' knows. As a person, [Guardiola's] behaviour was terrible, shocking. He's a great coach. He was calling Zlatan for one year. About 10 times. At Barcelona, he told him whatever he needed or wanted he would be helped with.
“Then all of a sudden he stopped talking to him.”
Ibrahimovic blamed Messi for his condition at Barcelona
Ibrahimovic, at the time, had also alleged Barca team-mate Lionel Messi had complained about him to Guardiola because, as put by the Swede, “I scored more goals than him.”
Raiola failed to confirm whether Messi had a hand in Ibrahimovic’s torrid time at Barca, but said, “I remember Txiki Begiristain (Barcelona director of football at the time) called me in November and told me he wanted to talk with me: 'Look, Messi is upset, he's not happy. He's not scoring many goals and Zlatan has to help him.
“Ibra said it was fine and agreed. One month later Txiki told me Guardiola was going to change the system in spite of him not agreeing. 'No problem,' I told him. Txiki then tells me there's a problem: 'Messi was upset and went crying to Guardiola and he's going to play through the middle and Guardiola's not going to play two strikers.
“Pep didn't speak to Zlatan again, not even when he was injured. [Ibrahimovic] was more professional than ever and wanted to sign for Real Madrid, but they didn't have the balls at the Bernabeu and no clear plan.”
Ancelotti wanted Ibrahimovic at Madrid
Raiola also said that current Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti, who was responsible for bringing Ibrahimovic to PSG in 2012, also wanted to take the striker with him after he was appointed the coach of Real Madrid.
Raiola said, “Ancelotti wanted him and I went to a meeting in Madrid, but [Madrid director general] Jose Angel Sanchez called [PSG president Nasser] Al Khelaifi and cancelled it.”
He expressed his frustration over Madrid’s mode of operations. He said, “Real Madrid is a political club and not a normal club. I don't understand the way they do things. It would have been the perfect club for [Ibrahimovic] because he's a great player, he's passionate and because he can do something amazing at any moment. I don't know if it was my fault.”
Raiola also went back on his previous statement that Ibrahimovic is expected to retire at PSG. “I don't think Ibra will finish his career at PSG,” he said.