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Zlatan Ibrahimovic & Romelu Lukaku feud may stem back to Manchester United ‘bet’

The pair were teammates at Man United.

Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were involved in a heated clash during the Milan derby on Tuesday night at the San Siro.

Just before half-time of the Coppa Italia clash, Inter Milan striker Lukaku and AC Milan centre-forward Ibrahimovic went head to head. The two players were booked for their parts in the exchange, which became heated.

As there were no supporters in the stadium, pitchside microphones were able to pick up some of what was said by the two players.


Zlatan & Lukaku clash.

Ibrahimovic, 39, reportedly told Lukaku to “Go do your voodoo shit, you little donkey!” The “voodoo” remark appears to refer to comments from Farhad Moshiri, Everton’s majority shareholder.

Moshiri claimed that Lukaku decided to leave the club after receiving a “voodoo message.” The Belgium striker disputed the claim and threatened legal action.

Lukaku, 27, was furious with Ibrahimovic and appeared to shout at the Swede, “Fuck you and your wife!”

Teammates separated the pair, but the dispute continued as the sides made their way off the pitch for half-time.

Zlatan, who had scored in the first half, was sent-off in the second half for a second yellow card.

Lukaku got the last word by scoring a penalty after his rival had left the field. Inter won the game 2-1.

Ibrahimovic’s ‘bet’ with Lukaku.

Neither player spoke about the incident after the match, but it appears that their feud stems back to their time as teammates for Manchester United during the 2017/18 season.

In a 2019 interview with Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport, Ibrahimovic said that he offered to make a “bet” with Lukaku.

The former Barcelona striker said he would give Lukaku £50 for “every decent first touch” he made – making fun of Lukaku’s ability to control the ball.

“I will say this on Romelu: don’t expect good technique from Lukaku,” Zlatan said.

“His best strength is sheer power. If only he’d listened to me. At Manchester United, we made a bet: ‘I’ll give you £50 for every decent first touch you make’.”

“He replied: ‘What do I win if I get them all right?’ I told him ‘nothing’ – he would simply become a better player.

“For the record, he never accepted the bet! Perhaps he was afraid of losing?!”

Zlatan & Lukaku at Man United.

Lukaku and Ibrahimovic only shared the pitch together for Man United on seven occasions.

At the time, Lukaku was Man United’s main striker and Zlatan was making his way back from a serious knee injury that kept him on the sidelines for seven months.

The Belgian striker said he clashed with Ibrahimovic on the training pitch.

“I remember one training session,” Lukaku told Man United’s official website.

“Because we were both strikers, we were never on the same team – there was a 50/50 challenge.

“He went full-on against me! That is when I knew this guy wants to compete and this guy wants to fight for his spot. That is why he changed me.”

Yet, it appears that the relationship between the pair was once respectful.

Zlatan gave Lukaku his number nine jersey when the forward joined the club from Everton in 2017. The Inter striker also called Ibrahimovic a “champion” last year.

However, the pair are obviously extremely competitive and, as such, there was always a chance that tensions would boil over.

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