Hernan Crespo recalls when Jose Mourinho cooled "furious" Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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Playing against Zlatan Ibrahimovic can’t be an enjoyable experience.

Not only is the Manchester United forward one of the finest strikers in the game, but he’s also never afraid to hide his emotions.

That is to say he’ll celebrate a goal excessively, and he’ll let you know when you’ve done something wrong, too.


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Ibrahimovic was the modern day Diego Costa during his separate spells in Italy, winding up players and getting into skirmishes on a regular basis.

He cut a much calmness figure in France - mostly due to Paris Saint-Germain’s dominance - yet the 34-year-old would still argue with opposing players and referees.

It means United will be a must-watch this season. With Ibrahimovic joining Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford, the Red Devils are back to being box office.

Worst behaviour

It was in Italy where Europe really saw Ibrahimovic’s worst behaviour. He joined Juventus in 2004 before making the switch to Inter Milan two years later.

And Hernan Crespo remembers just one of the occasions where the Swede lost his cool during an Inter Milan game.

The Argentine played with Ibrahimovic between 2006 and 2009 and pinpoints a game against Cagliari as being a turning point in their relationship.

“My relationship with Zlatan, if you allow me to say so, was special,” Crespo told The Guardian.

“There was one game, Cagliari v Inter, during which nothing was working – we were so bad it wasn’t easy to see that we were actually playing football. I was running around a lot and Zlatan was really angry with all of us.

“When he came to me to tell me off for something I spoke to him and said: ‘Keep calm Zlatan … I’m not a young guy, I am Hernán Crespo.’ And from that moment we had a fantastic relationship, with a lot of respect.

Mourinho channelled Zlatan's anger

There was also the time Jose Mourinho was forced to calm the striker down after Inter suffered a loss.

“One time, after a defeat, Zlatan was furious,” Crespo added. “You just needed to look at him to see how angry he was.

“Mourinho, however, went to speak to him and in a few moments he had resolved the issue.

"Zlatan, for the next game, was even more motivated and we were superb with Zlatan the best player on the pitch.”

Years later and Ibrahimovic finds himself the leader in Mourinho’s dressing room. It’ll be interesting to see what example he sets to Marcus Rashford and co.

How many goals will Zlatan Ibrahimovic score this season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Inter Milan
Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Premier League
Jose Mourinho
Paris Saint-Germain

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