Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 14 times AC Milan star has lost his head after Romelu Lukaku incident

  • Kobe Tong

Zlatan Ibrahimovic had an evening to forget during AC Milan's 2-1 defeat to Inter Milan on Tuesday.

Despite having started the night with a fine opening goal in the Derby della Madonnina, Ibrahimovic never made it to the final whistle and that had nothing to do with being taken off by Stefano Pioli.

Instead, Ibrahimovic picked up the latest red card of his often ill-disciplined career, racking up a pair of cautions for a clash with Romelu Lukaku and tackling Aleksandar Kolarov from behind.

Ibrahimovic vs Lukaku controversy

Now, as much as the tackle was the straw that broke the camel's back, it was Ibrahimovic's clash with Lukaku that made headlines around the world.

Truth be told, it was Lukaku who appeared the more incensed player with Italian reports claiming that Ibrahimovic made a 'voodoo' comment that particularly enraged his former Manchester United teammate.

But we'd be lying if we said that Ibrahimovic cut a figure of calm during the ensuing verbal barbs with his subsequent red card all but confirming that anger was still twitching away under the surface.


Controversial Zlatan moments

That, and the fact Ibrahimovic's career in general shows that his anger-management hasn't always been the best, whether that's through disputes on the pitch, training ground or in the dressing room.

And with Ibrahimovic's latest lapse in calm earning himself a ban, we couldn't resist looking back on some other moments that saw the 39-year-old land lose his head or, at least, look a little crazy.

If we picked out every instance of Ibrahimovic's rage, we'd be here forever, so we'd narrowed our search to 14 moments that you can check out down below after his high-profile beef with Lukaku.


1. Threatening to break Van der Vaart's legs

When asked about Ibrahimovic''s infamous threat during his Ajax days, Van der Vaart explained to FourFourTwo: "Yes, he did say that, but Zlatan said it to everyone.

"It’s also true that around that time things just weren’t working between the two of us, but I would rather be in a team with people who are honest, like him, even if it means there are a few arguments.

"But there wasn’t a specific moment we fell out – we generally didn’t get along well."


2. Beef with Mexes

To be honest, Ibrahimovic's clash with Philippe Mexès during an Inter Milan vs AS Roma could have been made into a soap opera with neither player covering themselves in glory as tempers flared.

3. Throwing kit at Guardiola

It's no secret that Ibrahimovic never got along with Pep Guardiola during his doomed Barcelona spell, but seldom did things boil over more than when Inter dumped them out of the Champions League.

According to the Guardian, Ibrahimovic recalled: "I yelled: 'You haven't got any balls!' and worse than that I added: 'You can go to hell!'

"I completely lost it, and you might have expected Guardiola to say a few words in response, but he's a spineless coward. He just picked up the metal box, like a little caretaker, and then left, never to mention it again, not a word."


4. Hospitalising Materazzi

A karate-kick so brutal it gives Nigel de Jong's effort a run for its money. Ibrahimovic exacted revenge on Marco Materazzi for a 2006 foul by, well, dishing out something out of the UFC.

According to Football Italia, Zlatan simply described the incident to GQ, saying: “In the second half, Materazzi is coming at me and I hit him with a Taekwondo move, I sent him to hospital."

5. Kicking Cassano in the head

Ok, ok, yes, this was a joky incident where Ibrahimovic kicked out as his own teammate, but that doesn't make it any less bizarre or passive-aggressive that this would even happen in the first place.

6. Training ground fight with Onyewu

However, there have also been times where Ibrahimovic's anger with his teammates has been deadly serious, clashing with Oguchi Onyewu at AC Milan with Gennaro Gattuso even taking a punch.

Speaking to Sky Sports Italia, first-hand witness Massimo Oddo recalled: "They came to blows, but nothing excessive. Gattuso tried to divide them and took a very strong punch to the face."


7. Sent off for punching Rossi

Yup, this week wasn't the first time that Ibrahimovic has been dismissed as an AC Milan player, completely losing his cool during a clash with Bari, earning an early bath for punching Marco Rossi.

8. Sent off for slapping Aronica

And just like clockwork, Ibrahimovic was given his marching orders for a similar incident later in his first AC Milan spell, finding out that slapping Napoli's Salvatore Aronica was never going to go down well.

9. Stamping Lovren

Those who are squeamish should probably not watch Ibrahimovic essentially stamping on the head of Lyon's Dejan Lovren in too much detail...

10. Karate-kicking Ruffier

Given his expertise in Taekwondo, Ibrahimovic has something of a penchant for wiping out players with his high kicks as much as he scores them - and Stéphane Ruffier is all too aware of that.

The Saint-Étienne goalkeeper was on the receiving end of a red card offence from Ibrahimovic that, let's face it, doesn't look good on closer inspection, even if the Swede claimed he never intended to harm.

11. Brutal red card vs Chelsea

Given the ferocity and pettiness of some of Ibrahimovic's other red cards, this one might seem a little soft, but make no mistake that this crushing, red card tackle left Chelsea's Oscar breakdancing.

12. Rant about French football

Such was the foul-mouthed nature of Ibrahimovic's rant about French football to referee Lionel Jaffredo during a PSG defeat to Bordeaux that he picked up a ban for his comments.

Ibrahimovic reportedly remarked: "[I've] played 15 years I've never seen a referee this s*** country. Don't even deserve PSG to be in this country. F****** too good for all of you."


13. Crushing elbow vs Bournemouth

To be fair, Tyrone Mings didn't cover himself in glory during this Premier League clash, duly stamping on Ibrahimovic, but that doesn't make the original elbow seem any less savage.

But you wouldn't have known that Zlatan did anything wrong based on his reaction with the then Manchester United striker remarkably reacting by saying: "He jumps into my elbow." Wowsers.

14. Sent off for slapping Petrasso

Ibrahimovic might have masqueraded as though the MLS was beneath him, but it was clear that he was taking things deadly seriously when he was sent off for slapping Montreal Impact's Michael Petrasso.

Ibrahimovic's history of controversy

Yeh... so, although Ibrahimovic was clearly raging during the Milan derby, I think Lukaku can probably count himself lucky that he wasn't eating a karate kick or sent to the hospital.

Nevertheless, while we're all for the sort of tension that reminds us of football's 'good old days', it was certainly a shame that a thoroughly entertaining Coppa Italia clash was marred by controversy.

What will come out of Ibrahimovic and Lukaku's tiff remains to be seen, but there is one thing we know for certain: Zlatan sure knows how to get himself into trouble from time to time.

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