Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Man Utd bet to Romelu Lukaku resurfaces after Inter Milan 2-1 AC Milan

  • Kobe Tong

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku hogged the headlines during the Milan derby.

Inter Milan secured a dramatic victory in the Coppa Italia courtesy of Christian Eriksen's glorious free-kick in stoppage time, but the game focused around the two Milan clubs' leading strikers.

Initially, it was all to do with their contributions on the pitch with Ibrahimovic firing AC Milan into a first-half lead, finding the bottom via the post to leave Samir Handanovic statuesque. 

Inter Milan 2-1 AC Milan

But there was nothing football-related about the clash that ensued between Ibrahimovic and Lukaku before the break with various insults, including about family members, being heard in the footage.

Inter players were having to restrain Lukaku, who was visibly incensed by the situation, as his former Manchester United teammate heckled him from afar, earning them both yellow cards.

And it was that very booking that came back to bite Ibrahimovic as he was given his marching orders for a second yellow card offence, tackling Aleksandar Kolarov from behind.


Lukaku vs Ibrahimovic

That duly set the wheels in motion for Inter to come back into the game and it was Lukaku, of all players, who provided the equaliser with a penalty that looked to have plenty of anger behind it.

On the surface, you wouldn't have expected Lukaku and Ibrahimovic to have gone for each other given their time together at Old Trafford during the first half of the 2017/18 campaign.

But if you dig a little deeper, you'll find that Lukaku had good reason to be hacked off with Ibrahimovic before a ball was kicked in the Derby della Madonnina.


Bet at Manchester United

That's because Ibrahimovic had made some, well, interesting comments about an incident at United where he tried to help Lukaku with his infamously-questionable first touch in October 2019.

According to Football Italia, Ibrahimovic told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “I will say this on Romelu: don’t expect good technique from Lukaku, but his best strength is sheer power.

"If only he’d listened to me. At Manchester United, we made a bet: ‘I’ll give you £50 for every decent first touch you make.’ He replied: ‘What do I win if I get them all right?’ 

"I told him nothing, he would simply become a better player.

"For the record, he never accepted the bet! Perhaps he was afraid of losing…Joking aside, Lukaku has this mad hunger to prove himself to the world and I’m sure he will do well at Inter too.”


Lukaku's undoubted quality

Yeh, it's not hard to see why the soil was rich for Lukaku to snap at Ibrahimovic when you read that.

Besides, say what you like about Lukaku's first touch during his United days, you simply don't know your football if you doubt the Belgian's ability as an out-and-out goalscorer.

It's been remarkable to watch his seamless transition from the Premier League to Serie A, notching an incredible 34 strikes in his first season and already boasting 17 goals from 22 outings this year.


So, in the end, I think we can all agree that Lukaku had the last laugh, even if it's at the expense of missing out on the od £50 note...

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