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Why Pep Guardiola has a problem with Zlatan

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Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic spoke again about his failed relationship with Pep Guardiola that leaves the Catalan coach in a bad place.

As one of the many mysteries that may never really be resolved in world football, we may never know what really happened between Pep Guardiola and Zlatan Ibrahimovic at FC Barcelona. There are many versions of what actually took place between the two, but the Swedish striker spoke freely about the problem that the manager had with him during his first season in the Catalan club. Zlatan actually had quite the prolific season for a first in Barcelona, everything seemed to be going smoothly until after the new years break when it all fell apart. One day according to Zlatan out of left field, Pep Guardiola simply decided to stop talking to Ibrahimovic and the relationship between the two started to deteriorate from that moment forward. The press has questioned the Manchester City coach about this issue many times, but he has never had a clear answer about what really happened and he has repeated many times that he always spoke to Zlatan right to his face. But the striker doesn’t seem to think the same, he vented his frustrations once again this Friday during an interview with ESPN.

“In Barcelona, the first season but the second half of the season was a challenge for me because I came into a situation where the coach [Guardiola] wasn’t speaking to me, and that was something new for me. I’m not the person who — if I don’t have a problem, I will approach you. It’s about the person who has the problem, he should approach the other one and we resolve it like men. I did not have the problem [with Guardiola], so it cannot bother me. It has to bother the other one, because I did not have the problem. Because I said, I am the person — I said here in the first press conference: if somebody disagrees with me or doesn’t want me, doesn’t like me, they say I walk strange, I don’t look good, I talk different, I don’t talk good — you tell me. We take the contract, cancel it, and I walk away. I’m not here to give problems, and I didn’t have problems anywhere. And when I was in Barcelona, I resolved the problem by saying, No problem. If you have a problem, I will resolve it for you: I leave.’ I will not stay here and give you problems, I’m not that guy,” said Zlatan about the situation.

In order to clear the rumors about him being a problematic individual towards his managers, Zlatan Ibrahimovic also wanted to cite a few examples of coaches who are known for their extreme discipline and how he always got along with every single one of them: “It has come in the media that coaches have problems with me, my character — that is not true. That is all bulls—. I did not have problems with any coach. If somebody had problems, it was the coach who had a problem I did not know about … I had the hardest coaches in the world. I had Fabio Capello — that was a machine, all about discipline and respect. And I didn’t have a single problem, because when we had one we resolved it. I had Mourinho. Mourinho is known, everybody knows that he is for discipline and respect. He doesn’t accept nothing. And I didn’t even have one problem. So somebody had a problem that he didn’t resolve, but I cannot resolve problems for other ones because I did not know even what the problem was.”

The worst part about all this is that we may never really know what happened between the two, but we choose to believe Zlatan given that he is the only one who has really opened up about the whole situation. We are eagerly waiting for the day in which we get a chance to ask Pep Guardiola about what happened at least in private, because if he has refused to really talk about his problem with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, then it must be something personal and then we would understand why he refuses to share it. One thing is for certain, Zlatan Ibrahimovic didn’t leave Barcelona for not playing well during his only season at the club, the striker will remain as one of Pep Guardiola’s biggest mistakes in football that he was never able to solve. For now, we still have a little bit of Zlatan to enjoy and a lot of Pep Guardiola’s managerial career to watch during the upcoming years. We just wish these two talked things over and hugged it out, there is no reason to be salty about anything, life is beautiful when you don’t have a problem with anyone.

If you had to guess, what do you think Pep Guardiola’s problem with Zlatan was? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.