‘Ruthless’ Zlatan Ibrahimovic is ‘a tough guy to be around’ and can ‘make life hard for you if you’re not on the same page as him’, reveals his former Manchester United team-mate Scott McTominay
- Scott McTominay was impressed with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s mentality
- The striker scored 29 goals in 53 games during his spell at Manchester United
- Ibrahimovic could be a ‘tough guy to be around’ because of his desire to win
- The 39-year-old might not be able to play against United for Milan due to injury
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is ‘ruthless’ and can be a ‘tough guy to be around’, his former Manchester United team-mate Scott McTominay has revealed.
McTominay broke into United’s first team during Ibrahimovic’s two-year spell at the club, in which the Swede scored 29 goals in 53 games and won the Europa League and the Carabao Cup.
The Red Devils face Ibrahimovic’s AC Milan in the Europa League last-16 on Thursday – although it has looked like he will miss out injured – and McTominay has spoken of how impressed he was with the striker’s mentality at Old Trafford.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (second left) is ‘ruthless’, former team-mate Scott McTominay (centre) says
Ibrahimovic’s winning mentality impressed McTominay during his two-year spell at Man United
‘[He was] ruthless,’ he said in an interview with UEFA. ‘I’m not going to say too much more than that.
‘Good professional, worked hard, big, big presence in the dressing room in terms of his voice and the way that he is with people.
‘He’s a ruthless guy in terms of the way he wants to win 24/7. If you’re not on the same page as him, then you won’t succeed under him.
‘He’ll make life hard for you, so you’d better work hard at winning, otherwise it’ll be a tough time for you.
‘I love guys like that in football. He’s obviously had a legendary career which is a real credit to him, and obviously to his family as well, so I have nothing but big praise for him.
‘He’s a tough guy to be around sometimes, but that’s the positive – I can be [tough to be around] as well.’
Ibrahimovic joined United on a free transfer after leaving Paris Saint-Germain in 2016 and left a far greater impression on the Premier League than many thought possible.
Ibrahimovic scored 29 goals in 53 games during his brief but successful time at Old Trafford
The Swedish striker made 46 appearances in his first season in England, netting 17 goals in the Premier League, five en route to United winning the Europa League and two in the Carabao Cup final victory against Southampton.
But a career-threatening knee injury ended his season early and he returned to play just seven times in his second campaign with Jose Mourinho’s side.
The 39-year-old has enjoyed a resurgence with Milan after a year at LA Galaxy, scoring 14 goals this season to fire them near the top of the Serie A table in second.
United’s Europa League clash against Milan offered Ibrahimovic a reunion with his former team-mates, but he had looked likely to miss the first leg at Old Trafford due to a muscular injury.
AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli, however, said earlier this week that he is still hopeful that Ibrahimovic will be passed fit.
‘He is better,’ Pioli said. ‘Tomorrow he will have another examination to see how his recovery is going, we hope he can recover by Thursday.’