Football

The truth behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic-Carlo Ancelotti box incident of 2013

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There’s nobody quite like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, let’s be honest here.

The Swede is both extremely talented and all-round enigmatic, whether it’s for his unorthodox finishing or self references in the third person. You simply can’t hate the man himself.

Well, that’s unless you support a Premier League side that knows all-too well how lethal the Manchester United man is in front of goal.

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Ibrahimovic is sticking around too, signing another one-year deal at Old Trafford despite being released by the club earlier in the summer.

It’s a pleasing sign of loyalty for United fans and perhaps a surprising one considering the Swede’s form as something of a journeyman.

Across his career, Ibrahimovic has starred for the likes of Ajax, Barcelona, Juventus and both Milan clubs. Throw his 116 caps for Sweden in there too for good measure.

However, perhaps one of the most notorious incidents of the 35-year-old’s career came during his spell at Paris Saint-Germain. Ibrahimovic plied his trade in the French capital between 2012 and 2016.

The episode in question concerns a clash between the Swede and then PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti.

After a dressing room row boiled over, the Italian boss kicked a box in frustration with Ibrahimovic being struck in the head.

The incident took place after PSG were eliminated from the Coupe de France in 2013. Ibrahimovic was one of the players to miss from 12-yards as Evian claimed a quarter-final win via penalties.

Exactly what happened has never been crystal clear but it has always been understood as a lighter version of the Ferguson-Beckham incident of 2003.

Swansea City manager Paul Clement has sought to clear the air, though, in a recent interview with the Daily Mail. The Englishman was Ancelotti’s assistant at the time and revealed how Ibrahimovic reacted to the blow.

He stated: “It was like slow motion. It flew through the air and hit him. And Zlatan just brushed it off.

“You have to be ready to deal with it when people cross the line.”

While it might be easy to cite Zlatan’s reaction as typically nonchalant, he has been known to completely lose his temper in the past. Ancelotti will have been relieved it was only a cardboard box that met his anger.

Besides, the Bayern Munich boss spoke briefly about the aftermath of the clash in November 2015. It’s clear the austerity between the two was short-lived.

"It was more or less the same as Ferguson and the boot with Beckham. But we laughed about it afterwards.”

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Topics:
Carlo Ancelotti
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain
Football

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