Football

Ibrahimovic blasts former manager Guardiola

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic has launched a stinging attack on his former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, speaking of how the Spaniard 'wrecked' his career at Camp Nou.

The giant Swede spent just one season in Spain after arriving for a £40m fee and striker Samuel Eto'o in 2009, and while he compiled some impressive stats, off the field troubles cut short his time there.

In his recent autobiography, I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he said: "Because of Guardiola's problem, the club were forced to do a disastrous deal to sell me - it was crazy.

"I'd scored 22 goals and 15 assists during my season at Barcelona. Yet I'd lost nearly 70 per cent of my value. Whose fault was that? Guardiola, the quiet little over-thinker, had tried to wreck me."

Despite his stature in world football, Ibrahimovic failed to settle into the style of play at Barcelona and often found himself played out of position to accommodate other stars, notably Lionel Messi.

"Guardiola sacrificed me. That's the truth. One of my mates told me: 'Zlatan, it's as if Barca had bought a Ferrari and was driving it like a Fiat,' and I thought: 'Yeah, that's a good way of looking at it.'

Ibrahimovic added: "Guardiola had turned me into a simpler player and a worse player. It was a loss for the whole team."

The 31-year-old, now at French club PSG, had excerpts of his autobiography reported in the Daily Mail.

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Barcelona

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