‘It was brutal’. What happened between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Milan player Oguchi Onyewu

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‘It was brutal’. What happened between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Milan player Oguchi Onyewu

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been a controversial presence at a lot of clubs he has been at, never failing to speak his mind or act in the way he sees fit.

While at AC Milan, however, he managed to meet his match in the USMNT international Oguchi Onyewu, the big 6'5 centre-back.

While that is an unlikely pairing considering that Onyewu was barely a squad player for Milan and Zlatan was one of the best players, the two had a massive dust-up in training in 2010.

Zlatan explained in his autobiography that it started when Onyewu was talking trash during practice. Zlatan decided to retaliate not with his words but with his actions and attempted to take Onyewu out with a dirty tackle.

The American took exception and went at Zlatan, with the striker describing it as: “As I got up and walked away, I felt a blow to my shoulder.

“Not a good idea, Oguchi Onyewu. I headbutted him, and we flew at each other. We wanted to tear each other limb from limb.

“It was brutal. We were rolling around, punching and kneeing each other.

“We were crazy and furious — it was like life and death.”

Onyewu would leave Milan at the end of the season, while Zlatan left a year after that. While the American might not have made a huge impact on the game, he certainly did on Zlatan, leaving him with a broken rib.

While this sort of behaviour is bad for football in many ways, it is still nice to think back to a time when there was more rivalry and edge to the game, even among teammates.

AuthorDivij KSourceThe18
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