The following quotes are taken from Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s awesome book “I am Zlatan” – written by David Lagercrantz.
If you only ever read one football autobiography, make sure it is Zlatan’s book as like the PSG striker himself, it is simply awesome.
Whilst Zlatan leaves no stone unturned in castigating Pep Guardiola for their relationship during one season at Barcelona – Zlatan almost writes a love letter to Mourinho for the one season they spent together at Inter Milan.
Incredibly, the Daily Mail have suggested Zlatan and Jose were not on such great terms as the super Swedish striker suggest.
One read of “I am Zlatan” would dispel this theory completely and don’t be surprised to hear more about Jose and Ibra in the build-up to both Chelsea matches against PSG.
The best quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Jose Mourinho, in chronological order, from his excellent book, are below…
1. “He formed an attachment to me even before we met. He would become a guy I was basically willing to die for.”
2. “Mourinho is Portuguese, and he likes to be at the center of things. He manipulates players like no one else.”
3. “I liked him straight away. We clicked. We understood each other, and I realised right away. This guys works hard. He works twice as hard as all the rest.”
4. “I’ve never met a manager with that kind of knowledge about the opposing sides… We all sensed it immediately: This guy knows his stuff.”
5. “I felt increasingly that this guy gives everything for the team, so I want to give everything for him. It was a quality he had. People were willing to kill for him.”
6. “He stood right by the touchline, following the game, like a general on the battlefield…”
7. [On the famous back heel goal v Atalanta which meant Zlatan was top scorer in Serie A for season 2008/2009] “It was Mourinho, the man with the face of stone. The man who never batted an eyelid had woken up. He was like a madman. He was cheering like a schoolboy, jumping up and down, and I smiled. So I got you going, after all. But it took some doing.”(First video below.)
8. “No matter how happy I was going to Barca, it was sad to leave Mourinho. That guys is special.”
9. “The following year, he left Inter for Real Madrid, and at the same time he and Materrazzi parted ways. Materazzi is about the world’s toughest defender. As he hugged Mourinho, though, he began to cry, and I can understand him in a way. Mourinho arouses feelings in people…” (Second video below.)
10. [Their final conversation at Inter Milan]
Zlatan: “Thanks. You’ve taught me a lot.”
Mourinho: “You’re going to Barca to win the Champions, huh?”
Zlatan: “Yeah, maybe.”
Mourinho: “But we’re the ones who’re gonna bring it home – don’t forget. It’s gonna be us!”