Former Barcelona player Zlatan Ibrahimovic has blamed Lionel Messi and Pep Guardiola for his failure at the Camp Nou, claiming that Guardiola used to ‘bully’ him.
Ibrahimovic scored seven goals in his first seven La Liga matches, but the striker says that things went downhill because Messi demanded to play down the middle and not out wide.
“It was a childhood dream and I was walking on air,” said Ibrahimovic. “It started well but then Messi started to talk. He wanted to play in the middle, not on the wing, so the system changed from 4-3-3 to 4-5-1. I was sacrificed and no longer had the freedom on the pitch I need to succeed. So I asked for a meeting with Guardiola – for a discussion, not an argument. I said I was being used in the wrong way and that they shouldn’t have bought me if they wanted another type of player. The chat seemed to go well but then Guardiola started to freeze me out.”
According to Ibrahimovic his relationship with Guardiola continued to deteriorate and that he was happy to leave for Milan at the end of the season.
Interesting comments from Ibrahimovic. There is no doubt that Barca are a mire dynamic attacking side with players like Messi, Villa and Pedro interchanging positions. That is not Ibra’s style of play and he was just an expensive mistake by Barcelona.