Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic aren’t exactly seeing eye to eye right now.
The two former Manchester United strikers are hoovering up the column inches after a dramatic Derby della Madonnina that saw Inter Milan grab a dramatic winner in stoppage time.
However, while there could be no denying the brilliance of Christian Eriksen’s game-deciding free-kick, it was the antics of Lukaku and Ibrahimovic that came to define the Coppa Italia clash.
Lukaku vs Ibrahimovic
And although Lukaku would ultimately have the last laugh with progression to the semi-finals, everything pointed towards Ibrahimovic and co having the upper hand going into half-time.
Ibrahimovic continued his hot streak of scoring with a fine finish past Samir Handanovic, but became embroiled in verbal sparring with Lukaku before AC Milan could take their lead into the break.
Footage of the two world-class strikers quite literally going head-to-head quickly went viral and football fans across social media did their best to work out what each of them was saying.
Alleged ‘voodoo’ comment
However, if there was one detail that everybody could agree on it was that Lukaku was well and truly seething, needing his Inter teammates to hold him back as Ibrahimovic continued to taunt him.
But what had sparked such an angry reaction from the former Chelsea and Everton striker? Well, reports from Italy might well have the answer and it’s to do with Ibrahimovic’s in-game comments.
That’s because Ibrahimovic is being accused of making a ‘voodoo’ comment to Lukaku that particularly angered his Belgian opponent.
According to Tuttomercatoweb, via Football Italia, Ibrahimovic is reported to have said: “Go do your voodoo s***, you little donkey.”
In the fracas that ensued, Lukaku is reported to have replied: “F*** you and your wife, you want to speak about my mother?”
Referencing Everton incident?
However, it’s the ‘voodoo’ reference from Ibrahimovic that sparked the most controversy, even prompting a reported explanation to deny claims that the comment was racially-charged.
Per Football Italia, AC Milan representatives told Sky Sport Italia that Ibrahimovic is denying any racial insult and that the ‘voodoo’ barb is believed to be in reference to an incident from 2018.
That’s because Everton’s major shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, bizarrely claimed that Lukaku had refused to renew his contract at Goodison Park because of a voodoo message. Yeh, seriously.
According to the Guardian, Moshiri said: “I can assure you we tried everything to keep Rom. If I tell you what we offered him you wouldn’t believe it. We offered him a better deal than Chelsea and his agent came to Finch Farm to sign the contract.
“Robert [Elstone, Everton’s chief executive] was there, everything was in place, there were a few reporters outside, then in the meeting Rom called his mother.
“He said he was on a pilgrimage in Africa or somewhere and he had a voodoo and he got the message that he needs to go to Chelsea.”
In the end, Lukaku signed for United, sharing a dressing room with Ibrahimovic in the process and surely having no idea that they would then lock horns in the Milan derby three days down the line…