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Ljungberg on Zlatan book claims: 'I pity him'
Ljungberg and Ibrahimovic in a 2007 file photo

Ljungberg on Zlatan book claims: 'I pity him'

Published: 17 Nov 2011 12:40 GMT+01:00
Updated: 17 Nov 2011 12:40 GMT+01:00

Former Swedish international and Arsenal star Freddie Ljungberg has responded to claims made by Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his recently published autobiography that Ljungberg was a “prima donna”.

“Truth be told, I feel sorry for him,” Ljungberg told the Expressen newspaper in his first public comments about Ibrahimovic's book, “I am Zlatan Ibrahimovic” (Jag är Zlatan Ibrahimovic), published earlier this month.

Without naming explicitly Ljungberg by name, Ibrahimovic writes in the book how he got “fed up” during their time together on Sweden's national team.

“We were a great group, good guys and then one prima donna. The prima donna carried on with his antics. 'You know, in Arsenal, we do this. That's really how it should be done. Because in Arsenal they know stuff like that',” he wrote in the book.

In another passage, Ibrahimovic took issue with Ljungberg's need to ride in a special bus during the Euro 2004 championships because of problems with his back.

“Who the fuck is he to come and play upper-class with us?” he wrote.

Just days after the book's publication, Ibrahimovic chided Ljungberg further, telling reporters during a press conference prior to Sweden's match against Denmark that “one of us had respect and one didn't have respect”.

After days of silence regarding Ibrahimovic's claims, Ljungberg, who now plays for Shimizu S-Pulse in Japan, has responded by attacking his former teammate for “sinking so low” as to use “bitchy comments” about Ljungberg and others to sell his book.

“Personally, if I have a problem with people I take it face to face. But clearly, everyone is different. He wrote a book instead,” Ljungberg told Expressen.

Speaking with the Aftonbladet tabloid, Ljungberg described the relationship between him and Ibrahimovic as one of “professional footballers”, although he admitted that they “weren't always in agreement”.

He emphasized, however, that he didn't want to engage in mudslinging via the media.

“He can stand for what he said. I'm not going to get into it,” Ljungberg told Aftonbladet.

In addition to the accusations about Ljungberg, the Ibrahimovic autobiography also includes details about his falling out with Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola.

“I yelled at him ‘You have no balls!’ and probably worse things than that,” Ibrahimovic wrote.

Ibrahimovic left Italian club Inter for Spain’s Barcelona in 2009, but despite the €69 million ($95 million) transfer, his tenure at the club proved short lived.

The following season, Ibrahimovic left the Spanish championship club and returned to Italy to play for AC Milan.

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:13 November 17, 2011 by lilsocks
Well Ljungberg certainly comes across as the better man in all this.
13:33 November 17, 2011 by eppie
Well, I will still not buy this book.
14:44 November 17, 2011 by philster61
Zlotan who?
15:17 November 17, 2011 by stevegreen
Zlatans a joke.....pffffff
15:24 November 17, 2011 by zircon
Who needs public support?
16:02 November 17, 2011 by Jes
Zlatan is a monster that has been created by the Swedish media . It does not help that even the star-struck managers of the Swedish national team have followed and behaved like teen-age girls .

For years , wiser heads have have pointed out the fact that Zlatan is an overrated arrogant football player . As we all saw last Tuesday , he is exactly an average player .

Luckily , the British media has done what the Swedish media has always failed to do : mark the bully down !

One of the most correct observation writen was that Zlatan thinks that he is doing Sweden a favour by being in the team .

Time has come to stop this nonsense . There are more than 11111 players in the world that can do one or two tricks in 90 minutes - given the position that is always availed to this man .
16:29 November 17, 2011 by Elias06
Ibra's book should be called "Noone has Balls, only me have" (Guardiola, doesnt, messi doesnt, ljunberg doesnt...)
17:20 November 17, 2011 by jvtx3232
Ljungberg could totally kick Zlatan's ass, so Zlatan better watch his mouth!
19:44 November 17, 2011 by zircon
Wedding Crashers!
20:27 November 17, 2011 by shraga
I like Zlatan, a true winner!

www.football-bear.com
21:53 November 17, 2011 by adshasta
So Zlatan is named best in Sweden for five years in a row and some can't stand it..., perhaps it would help some if he he looked and was named Jonsson..,
23:05 November 17, 2011 by ebsor12
Zlatan is the best of the best, coming from rosegard malmö and becoming a star that few people are still not accepting. They are living on ----- paradise...
23:13 November 17, 2011 by myself_eumesmo_själv
Thats the problem with big stars, they are worshiped by everybody and then they that can say anything about others that everybody will back them as the side of the reason. As someone said here before, Ljungberg leaves from this public discussion as a responsible person.

We have a similar case with Cristiano Ronaldo here in Portugal, although better on these last games, sometimes seems like the national team owns something to him, he should be proud of defending the country, otherwise he can just renounce and never play again, there's much more than him on this country…
09:59 November 18, 2011 by Gabin
Visca Barca.-.

Come on Gunners.-.

Ibra the lite rebel go back to where yu belong...
01:27 November 21, 2011 by muntazir
hahaahahaha http://pic.twitter.com/scyjEzvZ
11:53 November 21, 2011 by BBKING
It is hard when a country has only one hero.
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