Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Guardiola a coward
Paris Saint-Germain forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic has told Der Spiegel he believes Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola is "a coward".
On the German release of his autobiography 'I am Zlatan', Sweden international Ibrahimovic renewed his criticism of Guardiola, under whom he played for a year at Barcelona before leaving for AC Milan in 2010.
"Guardiola is a fantastic coach. But as a human? He is a coward. He is no man," he said.
The Swede alleged that, after Lionel Messi had complained to Guardiola about him because "I scored more goals than him,", he never stood a chance under the Spaniard.
He said: "I told him that if I don't fit here, you have to please tell me that. But all I got was sweet talk: 'Ibra you are a super player, you do everything right.' But I still ended up on the bench."
The forward added that he "would have died for [Jose] Mourinho" Guardiola's rival when at Real Madrid, with whom he worked at Inter Milan.
"He is outstanding. Very intelligent and a great motivator," he said. "Guardiola’s philosophical team talks on the other hand -- they are bull***t for the advanced," he said.
"Mourinho can handle personalities, he is able to form a team out of 11 characters. But Guardiola isn't. Why did he opt for Munich? Because the team functions without him.
"It's a complete team. He bought new players, but he does not need them. It was a smart move by Guardiola, because nothing can go wrong in Munich. He will have success."
Ibrahimovic, one of the top earners in European football, also said he could imagine playing for Bayern at some time in the future -- "but only once Guardiola is gone".
It appears, though, that the door has been closed on any possibility of the Swede joining the Bundesliga champions. Speaking to German tabloid Bild, Bayern president Uli Hoeness said: "I think Ibrahimovic is a sour prima donna and never got over leaving Barcelona.
"No club ever got happy with him. He is a problem bear [a fairly new German saying only introduced to the German language when a brown bear crossed the German border a few years ago and was made a 'Problembar', and finally got shot)."