Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s new book promises to be a best seller as he reveals untold stories from his playing career. An extract tells the tale about a costly mistake when he made a premature announcement before officially joining Manchester United.
The 40-year-old AC Milan striker left Paris Saint-Germain in 2016 and signed for United in a sensational Bosman deal. It saw him link up with Jose Mourinho, who had previously been his manager at Inter Milan, and he’d go on to add the Europa League and League Cup to his list of honours whilst in England.
However, due to sheer impatience (and perhaps incompetence on the boards’ behalf), Ibrahimovic was creating controversy at United before he had signed for the club.
Ed Woodward was left frustrated – presumably sweating under his Paul Smith collar – when Ibrahimovic took to social media to announce his new club. On top of that, the bold move didn’t go down well with the player’s own camp.
Time to let the world know. My next destination is @ManUtd pic.twitter.com/DAK7iYlrCq
— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) June 30, 2016
“In fact, I’m going to go on Instagram and write, ‘My next club will be Manchester United’. I was so tired of the negotiations that I didn’t think Manchester [United] was listed on the stock exchange,” he writes in his new book Adrenaline, with extracts being published by Sweden newspaper Aftonbladet.
“You may not make similar announcements if the matter is not clear. All hell broke loose. Mino wanted to kill me.
“It’s just my fault, Mino Raiola had nothing to do with it. I lost my patience, that’s all. It felt like I was standing in quicksand trying to do something to take me forward, without thinking about the consequences.
“If the deal goes down now, then that’s it, we’ll let it go. I’m the one who did the wrong thing. I apologise once again.”
I’m sure all was well between Ibrahimovic and Raiola as they walked away from talks and checked their bank balance, but the story is hilarious nonetheless. Neither United or his agent saw it coming.
“You’ve ruined a £5m PR-plan,” Woodward supposedly said.
It’s exactly something you could hear him saying, isn’t it? The banker who only thinks about money, which was presumably the reason Ibrahimovic had to wait to join United.
Zlatan concludes the story with: “They had planned a surprise campaign and a presentation with special effects a la Hollywood. And I ruined everything with an update on social media.
“I get there and everyone hates me: Ibra the arrogant, the pretentious, the thug, the one who never scores [against] English teams, the old, thirty-five-year-old. Good. That’s how I want it. Hate me. I like that.”