Manchester United hero Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be looking to put his old side to the sword after AC Milan were drawn against the Red Devils in the next round of the Europa League. And, in Edinson Cavani, he’ll be going up against his old Paris Saint-Germain team-mate. While the pair achieved big things together, they didn’t always see eye to eye.
PSG signed Ibrahimovic back in the summer transfer window.
And Cavani then arrived the following year, with the Uruguay international arriving in a blockbuster move from Napoli.
Together, they were successful.
Cavani was often shunted out wide, allowing Ibrahimovic to steal the show with the Swede propelling them to four straight Ligue 1 titles.
But, while the pair struck up an impressive partnership off the field, things were far from straightforward in their relationship.
And it was revealed by Michael Ciani, who played with Ibrahimovic at LA Galaxy, that Ibrahimovic told him he hated Cavani in a private chat.
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“I know that he is a great player,” Cavani said following the 39-year-old’s departure nearly five years ago.
“I was able to learn a lot of things from playing alongside him.
“I was able to see his attitude on the pitch. He is a warrior. Sincerely, I was very much inspired by his attitude — his hatred of losing and his desire to always win.”
United will be hoping Cavani will be fit in time for the match against Milan.
He’s currently sidelined with a knee injury and the Red Devils will only decide on his future once they’re convinced it won’t hinder him in the future.
United cut Ibrahimovic loose in 2018 after believing he wouldn’t ever fully recover from a knee injury of his own.
But Lee Grant revealed last year that players still talked fondly of the Swede all these years on from his departure.
“He [Zlatan] wasn’t here as a player but he was in LA, he came and visited us,” he told the club’s official website.
“All I was hearing in that first month or so, while I was acclimatising, were stories about Zlatan.
“His period at the club had just come to an end but the lads would talk about him constantly.
“’Do you remember when Zlatan did this?’ ‘Do you remember him getting on to such and such in training and he nearly made him cry?’ ‘Do you remember that thing he does, the kung-fu kick over his head?’ ‘Do you remember Zlatan scored that goal? Do you remember when he nutmegged that guy and absolutely took the p***?
“I thought: ‘Oh my god, who is this Zlatan character but that was what it was like all the time.
“I got to meet him in LA but it was literally for five or 10 minutes, just to say hello and ask how he was enjoying America and all the rest of it.
“For me, just to see how the lads interacted with him. Huge stars, well huge stars to me, looking up to the King! It was quite an eye-opener. But he seemed a really nice guy.
“I’m actually disappointed I didn’t get the chance to play with him myself. I played against him, of course.”