Paris Saint-Germain star Zlatan Ibrahimovic has revealed Jose Mourinho is the most intelligent coach he has ever worked with, Goal reports.
The pair enjoyed success together at Inter during the 2008-09 season, in which Ibrahimovic finished as Serie A’s top goalscorer as the club lifted the league title.
The 33-year-old has worked with a host of top coaches during his career, including former Barcelona boss and current Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola, but he says nobody comes close to Mourinho.
He told the Guardian, “Mourinho is very intelligent. He doesn’t treat everybody the same. He knows how to treat people as individuals to get 100 per cent out of them.
“He’s the most intelligent coach I’ve worked with in the way he approaches players and – ‘manipulates’ is the wrong word – gets them very pumped up. No doubt.”
Despite winning 11 league titles in 13 years in Holland, Spain, Italy and France, the Champions League remains absent from his list of honours, though he insists he will be content with his career with or without the trophy.
“Let’s go back 15 years and all I saw then has come true. Everybody who was trash-talking me? Now they are eating their words. This is my real trophy.
“I have won 23 collective titles but the one that is missing is the Champions League. At PSG we are trying to win it. But even if we don’t, the 23 I have already won, coming from where I did, are incredible. I’ve had an amazing adventure.”
Ibrahimovic revealed his disdain at being asked to trial for Arsenal ahead of a proposed move 13 years ago.
The Sweden striker was playing for his local club Malmo when he offered a trial for Arsene Wenger’s side, but he was not impressed at having to prove his worth to the manager.
“Today, Wenger says it was a misunderstanding. But I didn’t like being asked to prove myself,” he told the Guardian.
“I know I’m good enough. I don’t need to show it to you. Either you know who I am or you don’t.
“I remember being in Wenger’s office and you could tell he was the boss. It was Wenger. But I don’t think I was so close (to signing). I went to Ajax the next day.”