In his upcoming autobiography, Zlatan Ibrahimovic criticizes Manchester United as a club with a “small mentality.”
You know it’s going to be explosive when the outspoken Swedish striker writes a book, and he hasn’t held back on the Old Trafford club.
Ibrahimovic played for Man United for 20 months and was a member of the most recent Red Devils team to win a trophy, helping them win the EFL Cup and the Europa League in 2016/17 under Jose Mourinho’s management.
On the other hand, the team finished sixth in the Premier League that season, continuing the post-Alex Ferguson downturn, but Zlatan can’t be blamed for that given his 17 goals in 28 appearances in the top level.
As the 40-year-old reveals in his new book Adrenaline, United didn’t live up to his expectations off the field, either.
“One thing astonished me: everyone thinks of United as a top club, one of the wealthiest and most powerful in the world, and it appeared that way to me from the outside,” he says.
“However, as I arrived, I discovered a little, closed attitude.”
Ibrahimovic, for example, recalls getting a fruit drink from a hotel mini-bar before a game, only to discover that United had charged him for it.
“I was with the squad in the hotel one day before a game. He explains, “I felt thirsty, so I opened the mini-bar and took a fruit drink.”
“We played for a while and then went home.” Some time had passed. My pay stub has arrived. I don’t usually glance at it. I only do this at the end of the year to see what has arrived and what has left. But that time, for some reason, I was intrigued and saw they’d deducted a pound from my monthly wage.
“I called the team manager and said, ‘Excuse me, why did they deduct a pound from my pay?’ ‘It was the fruit juice from the mini-bar,’ the team manager said after taking a look. ‘Are you serious, are you kidding?’ ‘I’m not,’ she says. If you order something here, you must pay for it.’ ‘Sure, but I didn’t choose to stay at the hotel.’ I wasn’t on vacation. It was the place where I worked. Manchester was the reason I was there. I have to drink if I have to play and I’m thirsty. I can’t play on the field if I’m dehydrated.’
“Can you believe it?” says the narrator. Is it a pound? In Italy, anything like that would never happen. These are the little things that make a difference and earn the players’ respect.”
People could have been forgiven for assuming Ibrahimovic was going to end his career at Old Trafford when he joined the club at the age of 34.
However, the veteran is still going strong more than five years later, with a seemingly never-ending career that has taken him to LA Galaxy and now AC Milan, where he has 34 goals in 59 games in a little under two years.