Zlatan Ibrahamivoc has branded Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal a 'pompous arse', and also shed light on the reason behind his turbulent relationship with Ronald Koeman.
Ibrahimovic first came to the attention of the world with some stunning performances with Ajax, who he joined from Malmo. However, he shared an uneasy relationship with Van Gaal, who was manager with the Dutch club at the time.
The current Manchester United boss will come up against Koeman's Southampton side tomorrow, with the pair not expected to shake hands before the game. Ibrahimovic says the bad blood stems from their time together at Ajax when Van Gaal was technical director and Koeman was manager.
The Manchester United manager publicly insisted that Ibrahimovic should be rested in 2004 in Eredivisie games with the title wrapped up, in order for him to be fresh for the Champions League - something Koeman didn't take well.
"What the hell? He said that?” the Saints boss allegedly said. Ibrahimovic continued: “Koeman went mad. He was furious with Van Gaal.
“He felt that statement meant his hands were tied and limited his chances to fight for me.”
Given the respective egos of both Ibrahimovic and Van Gaal it is unsurprising to hear that they didn't get on, but the bad blood between them still comes as a surprise. It seems as though the Manchester United manager rubbed up the Paris Saint-Germain striker the wrong way which prompted him to lash out at his former boss.
"Van Gaal was a pompous a***. He wanted to be a dictator, without a hint of a gleam in his eye," Ibrahimovic revealed.
“As a player he’d never stood out, but he was revered in the Netherlands because, as a manager, he’d won the Champions League with Ajax and received some medal from the government.”
In another blow to Van Gaal, Ibrahimovic - now one of the greatest players in the world - says Koeman is a fine manager. “I like Koeman. He and Leo Beenhakker were the first ones who understood my potential at Ajax.”