Nedum Onuoha has refused to accept Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s apology after being caught up in a bout of trash talking from the Swedish striker during an MLS fixture between Real Salt Lake and the LA Galaxy.
Ibrahimovic proved to be the match-winner on the day, with his 78th-minute striker settling the tie.
The Galaxy prevailed 2-1 courtesy of that effort, with their enigmatic frontman helping to cement a second-placed standing in the Western Conference.
Ibrahimovic did, however, take his pursuit of victory a little too far.
Having been in Onuoha’s ear throughout their on-field tussle, the 37-year-old took to shouting at his opponent when finding the target.
The veteran frontman was eager to offer his apologies afterwards, but a domestic rival was having none of it.
Onuoh, who was caught on camera having an angry post-match exchange with Ibrahimovic, told KSL: “He came here to apologise after the game because from 60 minutes in, he’s saying to me he’s going to do me, he’s going to hurt me for that game - and this is the guy who’s the face of the MLS as he calls himself, but this is the way he plays on the field.
“So I don’t care. You don’t say that on the field. I’m not going to accept his apologies. It’s unacceptable.”
Having seen his efforts to make peace rebuffed, Ibrahimovic relaxed his stance when speaking to the media.
His game has always been about playing on the edge, with there admittance on his part that he is at his most effective when emotions are running high.
“What happens on the field, stays on the field,” he told reporters.
“I like to feel alive. I like when it becomes duels and that because sometimes, not that I fall asleep, but I don't feel alive if they don't activate me.
“They need to activate me or else it becomes too easy. I know me. When I get angry I feel good.”
Ibrahimovic’s effort against Real Salt Lake was his eighth of the season in just seven appearances, with an outing against Minnesota United the only contest in which he has failed to hit the back of the net.