Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been lauded by his Manchester United team-mates as a beneficial personality in the dressing room, but former Sweden team-mate Anders Svensson says he can be “a complete idiot”.
The likes of Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford have spoken about Ibrahimovic’s positive impact on the atmosphere at Old Trafford since arriving on a free transfer ahead of the 2016-17 season.
The enigmatic striker has backed up his reputation as one of Europe’s top marksmen despite his advancing years, scoring 26 goals in 40 appearances in all competitions for United.
However, Svensson feels there can also be negatives to having a character like Ibrahimovic in the dressing room.
“He can be as nice as anything one moment and then the next be a complete idiot,” he told Swedish publication Vetland Posten.
“Occasionally he behaved so badly with some players that you wondered what actually happened.
“I think he wants to test new players. It’s like he wants to break them down to see what they can do.
“It might be how he himself became so good, but I cannot say I believe in that model.
“There has never been anything between him and me. I think he always had respect for those of us who were a little older.”
Regardless of how he acts behind the scenes, though, Svensson acknowledged that Ibrahimovic’s quality cannot be denied.
He added: “Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a fantastic player, no one can take that away from him”
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