In a new biography the former Milan striker explains how he felt betrayed by the Serie A club and tried to exact revenge by making astronomical demands.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is about to publish a new biography covering the latter stages of his storied career and Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet has published an advance, in which the typically forthright striker explains how he tried to prevent his own move from Milan to PSG going through as part of a row with former San Siro chief executive Adriano Galliani.
In the summer of 2012, Ibrahimovic was a Milan player and had been given assurances that despite a convulsive time in the market for the Serie A giants he would not be sold. However, things did not work out exactly as Ibrahimovic had expected.
“I was in my summer home in Vaxholm and I’d just come back in from jet-skiing. That’s when I noticed that I had five missed calls from [the player’s agent] Mino Raiola.”
Returning the call, Ibrahimovic was told by his representative: “Ok, Leonardo is going to give you a call.”
Ibrahimovic: "I decided I wasn't going to make it easy for PSG"
“I thought: ‘who’s Leonardo?’ And then the penny dropped that he was the sporting director at PSG,” Ibrahimovic explained. Feeling betrayed by Milan for going behind his back, the striker picked up the phone again and called Raiola. “I said to Mino: ‘Listen, I’m not to talk to Leonardo because Galliani told me that I wouldn’t be sold this summer.’ Then Mino said ‘yeah, I know, but you’ve been sold already.’”
Incensed, Ibrahimovic formulated a plan to ensure the move would break down. “I spoke to Mino again and told him we weren’t going to make it easy for PSG. We were going to tell them that I wanted the same salary I had at Milan and we were going to ask for so much stuff that they’d think it wasn’t worth it. I told Mino to lay out all the conditions of my contract one by one. When we’d finished I said to my wife that they’d never accept all my demands, that there was no way it would go through. But 20 minutes later Mino sent me a text saying it had all been approved.”
“After that, there was no going back,” Ibrahimovic concluded. “So I accepted [the move] because I am a man of my word and when I say something I stick to it.”