Zlatan Ibrahimovic book exclusive: Mourinho admired, Guardiola a spineless coward

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Football superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic reveals in his explosive autobiography, "I am Zlatan," that Jose Mourinho and Fabio Capello were the managers he admired the most while Pep Guardiola, is a, "spineless coward," and the man responsible for pushing him out of Barcelona, as supported in an exclusive interview with GiveMeSport by the author of the book David Lagercrantz.

Ibrahimovic has enjoyed a highly successful career playing for top European clubs like Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan and PSG with a club scoring record that reads 309 goals in 581 appearances.

Further accolades in a remarkable career include 11 league titles, countless Cup winners medals, footballer of the year in Italy on three occasions, winner of the Guldbollen 8 times, 3 times UEFA Team of the year and many more.

Despite this huge success, it wasn't all plain sailing for the giant Swede as his autobiography begins with a low point in his career, his time at Barcelona under Pep Guardiola. 

Talking exclusively to GiveMeSport ahead of the paperback release of the book in the US, the author described his time at Barcelona as, "an open flesh wound."

There was much anticipation surrounding his move to the Catalan Giants following a highly successful 3 year spell at Inter Milan that saw him score 66 goals in 117 appearances for Internazionale. 

Pep Guardiola was beginning to build a side that was set to dominate world football having just become the first Spanish team to win the treble, featuring players of the calibre of Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and Henry.

For Ibrahimovic it must have seemed to be the perfect challenge and the right time in his career to undertake it and with 11 goals and 4 assists in his first 13 games, few could argue.

It was around this time Guardiola started to, "freeze Ibrahimovic out," Lagercrantz explained.

Messi wanted to take a more starring role in the centre with Guardiola obliging, first moving Ibrahimovic out to the left and then removing him all togethor.

"He felt he didn't fit in the Barcelona culture, and instead of talking to him, he simply froze him out," the author explained.

Jose Mourinho and Fabio Capello are described in the book as the two biggest coaching influences on his life.

Capello he worked with during his time at Juventus while Jose Mourinho coached Inter during his final year at the club before his move to Barcelona.

His admiration for Mourinho was discussed at great length with Lagercrantz before the book was written, the author stressing Ibrahimovic would," kill for the man."

He went on to say, "Mourinho understood him, loved his style and his ego. It must have been a shock for him to go from Mourinho to Guardiola."

Their is no love lost between Ibrahimovic and Guardiola as highlighted in the book, in fact the Swede refers to the Spaniard as a, "spineless coward."

Ibrahimovic has moved on successfully since his time at Barcelona and is just about to embark on a third year at PSG, a club that he has won two French titles with and scored an impressive 75 goals in 91 appearances for. 

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