The Swede wants to know the reasons for the Spaniard's treatment of him towards the end of his spell at Barcelona, but won't rule out teaming up with the coach for a second time
By Kris Voakes | Italian Football Editor
Zlatan Ibrahimovic says that he is open to the possibility of working with Pep Guardiola once more despite the clashes between the two which resulted in the Swede leaving Barcelona in 2010.
The AC Milan striker, speaking exclusively to Goal.com, explained that he would be happy to work with the man who he voted for as the best coach in the world, but would want the Spaniard to explain what brought about his decision to freeze him out of the Barcelona set-up before his cut-price move to Milanello.
"As it is now, no, [I wouldn't work with Guardiola], because I don’t have answers about what happened," Ibrahimovic explained. "But what I think about him is nothing personal and it doesn’t mean that I think he’s a bad coach, because when I got to vote I said he was the best coach in the world.
"The person and the coach are two different things, and as a coach he is fantastic or else he wouldn’t win all the trophies he wins and make a team like Barcelona. But my thing with him was as a person, so you should never say no because people say no today and maybe yes in the future. The question is: would he work with me?"
Ibrahimovic came up against one of the people whom he thanks for his support during his difficult spell in Catalunya on Wednesday night, with former team-mate Thierry Henry having been among the Arsenal side that Milan beat 4-0 in the Champions last-16 first-leg clash at San Siro. And, having become very good friends during their year together at Camp Nou, the Sweden international is also quick to highlight the achievements that the Frenchman has accomplished as a footballer.
I am Zlatan | The striker spoke to Goal.com at the launch of his biographical app
"I know Thierry Henry and what he did for football – and he made history in football – and as a person I think he’s even better because he’s a fantastic person, and he has a big heart. He’s a big friend of mine, and we spent a lot of time together [in Barcelona]," Ibrahimovic said.
"It was a good moment for me [on Wednesday] because I hadn’t seen him in a long time and he was there also when I had a little bit of a struggle at the end in Barcelona and he was always trying to be positive with me. We had a good joke too, so it was nice seeing him."
Henry has now returned to his parent club New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer, meaning that he will miss the second leg of the tie at the Emirates Stadium. But, with both Milan and Barcelona on the verge of the quarter-finals, another clash with Guardiola could well be on the horizon for the irrepressible Swede.
Zlatan was talking at the launch of his new interactive biography app, available in the Itunes App Store from Feb 17th: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/i-am-zlatan/id499373930?ls=1&mt=8