Zlatan Ibrahimovic 'Loved' When Carlo Ancelotti Kicked a Cardboard Box at Him at PSG
Every player is motivated in different ways evidently, as former Paris Saint-Germain assistant coach Paul Clement has revealed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic took inspiration from being whacked by a cardboard box during one particular angry half-time team talk in 2013.
In a chain of events that might remind you of the infamous boot that flew at David Beckham in the Manchester United dressing room after a raging Sir Alex Ferguson kicked a pile of laundry, Zlatan was struck when former PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti booted the box towards him.
Rather than sulk like Beckham (his subsequent injury required stitches that he made sure to show to the world), Ibrahimovic was fired up for the second half and acquiring a new-found respect for Ancelotti in that moment, Clement explained to the Daily Mail.
"It was like slow motion. It flew through the air and hit him. And Zlatan just brushed it off," Clement, Ancelotti's former right-hand man at Chelsea, PSG, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
"There are times when some players do want that bit of anger. Zlatan liked it when the box hit him. He respected that. You wouldn't have guessed it from the look on his face but yes, he loved that."
Ibrahimovic formally re-signed with Manchester United last month and various estimates place his expected comeback from a knee injury anywhere between late October and early December.
Zlatan will be wearing a different shirt for United when he does get back on the pitch, though.
He happily relinquished his old number nine jersey to summer signing Romelu Lukaku after the £75m Belgian asked permission to take it, with Ibrahimovic moving to the No. 10 vacated by former club captain and record goalscorer Wayne Rooney.
No. 10 was what he wore at PSG for three of his four seasons with the club, while it was also his regular shirt of choice with the Sweden national team.