Renowned ‘super-agent’ Mino Raiola has emphasised that he would prefer his players never went to a club manager by Pep Guardiola.
The pair have engaged in a long-running feud dating back to the now-Manchester CIty manager’s treatment of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a client of Raiola’s, when the pair were together at Barcelona almost a decade ago.
The agent, who also has the likes of Paul Pogba, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Henrikh Mkhitaryan on his books, hailed Guardiola as a coach but had some scathing words for Pep as a human being:
“Pep Guardiola, the coach, is fantastic. As a person he’s an absolute zero. He’s a coward, a dog.
“He’s a classic priest. ‘Do as I tell you – don’t do what I do….’ If Manchester City win the Champions League this season it will emphasise what a good coach he is – but I’ll hate it.
“I went for him that night in the corridors at Wembley [after Barcelona beat Manchester United in the Champions League final in 2011] – only Adriano Galliani, AC Milan’s chairman, stopped me. Lucky for Guardiola.
“Guardiola told Zlatan to go to him if he ever had any problems or complaints. But then he just ignored him and wasn’t playing him. He didn’t even say: ‘Hello’ to Zlatan.”
via the Independent
Ibrahimovic joined Barcelona from Inter in a high-profile transfer in 2009, but his time at Camp Nou wasn’t a particularly happy one. Although the Swedish striker scored 21 goals in 45 appearances and won La Liga with Barca, his relationship with Guardiola was, to put it lightly strained. Indeed, in his autobiography “I am Zlatan,” Ibrahimovic devotes almost an entire chapter to expressing just how little regard he has for his former manager.
He lasted one season in Spain before being loaned to AC Milan the following summer, later joining the Rossoneri on a permanent basis.