European news

Ibra wanted Madrid move

November 11, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has revealed he told Barcelona he wanted to join Real Madrid when leaving the club in 2010.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's autobiography has been making headlines this month
GettyImagesZlatan Ibrahimovic's autobiography has been making headlines this month

• 'Ibra threatened to beat Pep up'

Ibrahimovic, 30, joined Barca from Inter Milan in a part-exchange deal with Samuel Eto'o in 2009 but, although his time at the Camp Nou began well, he lost form and fell out with Pep Guardiola before being moved on to AC Milan.

The Sweden forward has been critical of Guardiola in the past and has recently generated huge publicity with remarks in his autobiography about the man he labels 'the philosopher'.

In the latest revelations, as published in AS, Ibrahimovic discusses his discussions with newly-appointed Barcelona president Sandro Rosell over a move away after his relationship with the coach broke down.

"The president said: 'I understand the situation. Which club do you want to join?' I replied: 'Madrid.' Rosell replied: 'That is not possible. You can go anywhere but there.'"

On his signing for AC Milan - an initial loan with the option to purchase for €24 million - he said: "Rosell, [Milan vice-president Adriano] Galliani, [agent Mino Raiola], my lawyer and [Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria] Bartomeu were all there, and Sandro said: 'I want you to know that this is the worst piece of business I have conducted in my life.' I replied: 'It's the result of bad leadership.'"

Ibrahimovic also told Gazzetta dello Sport in an interview this week that he had been pressured into kissing the badge during his unveiling at the Camp Nou in 2009.

"The kiss... they almost forced me to do it," he said. "They all said: 'Kiss it, kiss it.' Normally I do what I want to do, but I was so moved at having joined such a great club, at being in such a great stadium, that I did what everyone said."

Massimo Ambrosini, meanwhile, said AC Milan players have not discussed the contents of the book as yet but said he has no problem with its contents.

"What is said is him," Ambrosini said. "And he is so. A character that is not trivial.

"Fortunately he has not destroyed others. If one writes a book, he has to then tell the truth. Certainly some stories do increase sales, but Ibrahimovic has not laid it on thick."