Zlatan Ibrahimovic has defended Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri from critics of his playing style, with the former Bianconeri striker pointing out that “only winning counts in football”.
A decorated tactician in Turin has delivered more silverware during the 2018-19 campaign.
Juve have secured the Supercoppa Italiana and an eighth successive Serie A title.
That is not enough for some, though, with Champions League glory once again proving elusive.
Allegri’s methods have faced criticism despite cementing domestic dominance, with the 51-year-old considered by some to be too cautious in his approach.
Those allegations were levelled at him following a European quarter-final exit at the hands of Ajax, with it suggested that Juve do not seek to impose themselves on opponents often enough.
Ibrahimovic is not buying that, with a man who spent two years in Turin between 2004 and 2006 eager to point out that substance must always be placed above style.
The 37-year-old, who is now on the books of MLS side the LA Galaxy, told reporters of goings on at the Italian champions and the questioning of their manager: “Allegri’s right, only winning counts in football.
“If you play well and don’t win, it doesn’t count for anything.”
Ibrahimovic added: “It’s you journalists who agree that if someone plays well and loses, they’re massacred.
“But at the end of the day we think the same way, you and I - all that matters is winning.
“The beautiful game doesn’t lead you to anything. [Football] is just about winning, no matter how you do it.”
Ibrahimovic has done plenty of winning over the course of his career.
The enigmatic Swede also claimed three medals during a brief spell at Manchester United and is now chasing down a first major honour in America.
Allegri, meanwhile, is seeing questions asked of his future in Turin.
A number of clubs are reportedly ready to pounce should an exit door be opened in Italy, but the experienced coach has suggested that he will be back for more with Juve in 2019-20.