The Swedish legend consistently criticised his team-mates over the match, sparking much amusement for a man tasked with keeping him quiet
Zlatan Ibrahimovic insulted his ‘scared’ LA Galaxy team-mates for the entire 90 minutes of a match, San Jose Earthquakes defender Florian Jungwirth has recalled.
Ibrahimovic spent two seasons in MLS between 2018-19 before leaving the Galaxy for Serie A side AC Milan on a free transfer when the January window opened.
German centre-half Jungwirth, who has been at the Earthquakes since 2017, had a memorable first experience playing against Ibrahimovic, with the veteran striker spending most of the match yelling at his team-mates.
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“I think it was in 2018 when we played at Stanford against Zlatan first time – and he was like really insulting all his team-mates,” Jungwirth said in a Twitter Q&A.
“For 90 minutes – he was yelling at everyone. It was just funny.
“Everyone was so scared of him and I was just laughing because everyone was like a little kid. They were like, ‘Daddy, can I get something from you?’.”
When asked if he had any altercations with Ibrahimovic, Jungwirth revealed he purposely avoided any tension because he felt that it spurred the centre-forward to greater heights.
“He was quiet against us – I didn’t say anything,” he said.
Hilarious anecdote from Florian Jungwirth on Zlatan punking his Galaxy teammates on the field. #Quakes74
“They (Galaxy players) we’re acting like little kids: Daddy, can I get something from you?” pic.twitter.com/uNSybIiKB6
— Joel Soria (@soriajoelfutbol) April 9, 2020
“But I think that’s actually the worst you can do as his opponent. I think if you go for that, that’s exactly what he wants and then he takes you.
“I think you always have to study your opponents. Some opponents you have to provoke them, they maybe have a temper.
“But when you start playing games against Zlatan, there is no way you can win.”
Ibrahimovic has enjoyed an extraordinary 21-year career, with stints at clubs such as Barcelona, Manchester United, Juventus, Inter, PSG and AC Milan.
He has won league titles and domestic cups in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France and England.
Since returning for a second spell in Milan, Ibrahimovic has scored four goals in 10 appearances across all competitions.
He is reportedly considering his future, with his contract at AC Milan expiring at season’s end.
“Let’s see,” Ibrahimovic told Svenska Dagbladet earlier this month
“I don’t even know what I want. Something new happens every day. Who could have predicted this with corona? We just have to try to live and enjoy life.
“Don’t worry too much. I have a family to take care of, they feel good so I feel good.”