La Liga - Zlatan blames Guardiola for feud

Thu, 24 Feb 12:57:00 2011

EXCLUSIVE: Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has told Eurosport that he still does not know the reason for his falling out with Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola during his time at the club.

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Ibrahimovic moved to the Camp Nou from Internazionale in the summer of 2009 in a record-breaking deal which saw Samuel Eto'o go the other way, but returned to Italy after just one season in Spain.

Despite scoring 16 goals in 29 league appearances for Barca, plus another four in the Champions League, the Swede joined Milan on loan this season after his relationship with Guardiola broke down.

In an exclusive interview to be broadcast on Eurosport on Monday, Ibrahimovic insists that he was not the cause of the rift.

"In Barcelona I learnt that football can change very fast," he said. "My problem in Barcelona was one man: the 'philosopher'. He was my problem. I didn't have problem with anybody. There is nobody who can say that I did wrong.

"The first six months were fantastic; it was going very good (until) something happened. I still don't know what happened. I'm still waiting for the answer. A couple of months after the new year he didn't speak to me anymore."

Ibrahimovic, who has scored 13 league goals and provided almost as many assists for Serie A leaders Milan this term, believes that Guardiola was not able to give him the correct motivation and did not make enough effort to accommodate him into Barca's star-studded team.

"If you don't have someone who stimulates you, you won't fight for him," Ibrahimovic added. "That's why you get trainers.

"At the time (at Inter) with Jose Mourinho, I could go out and kill for him - that was the motivation he gave me, that's how he stimulated me.

"With other ones it was football, football... but you have to adjust the game to the players you have, especially when you buy a player for 70 million euros. You don't buy him to watch the birds on the trees."

Follow live text commentary on these games this weekend: Atletico Madrid v Sevilla; Mallorca v Barcelona; Deportivo v Real Madrid; Santander v Villarreal; Athletic Bilbao v Valencia


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