Zlatan Ibrahimovic DESTROYS Cristiano Ronaldo and other stars for Saudi Arabia move and claims ‘you have to be remembered for your talent, not for what you earned’ amid ongoing feud
- Ibrahimovic questioned what players in Saudi Arabia are ‘training every day for’
- The former Man United star revealed he had received an offer from the nation
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off’
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has torn into some of the world’s biggest stars – including Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Karim Benzema – for moving to Saudi Arabia to play football as he insists money is not everything.
Following a mass exodus of some of the biggest names in football to the Saudi Pro League, the former AC Milan striker has made his feelings clear on their decision.
The likes of Ronaldo alongside Sadio Mane, Riyad Mahrez and Fabinho joined the Saudi league and took on lucrative money, with reports suggesting Brazil star Neymar is earning £2.65m a week at Al Hilal.
Speaking to Piers Morgan Uncensored about this, Ibrahimovic said: ‘I had an offer also from China. I had an offer also from Saudi, but the situation is, what do you want? What objectives do you have?
‘I said before we started, like certain players need to finish their career on the big stage because that is the high end of your career.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his feelings clear on players moving to Saudi Arabia to Piers Morgan
Cristiano Ronaldo is believed to be earning £177million a year with Pro League side Al-Nassr
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‘You have to be remembered for your talent, not for what you earned. Because if you were remembered in the opposite way, what we are training every day for, what we are being recognised for, is our talent and that’s what you want to be remembered for.
‘So I think certain players that reach a certain level, they have to stop at a certain stage, and that’s the big stage.
‘You cannot go in a lower stage and finish your career in a different way. But some players needed the situations where you can earn a lot of money because they didn’t earn enough.’
Asked whether he would have an issue morally playing in Saudi Arabia, he added: ‘No, absolutely not. You have the golf situation now. They came together and they made it one, so I am just sorry for the players that didn’t go before because they didn’t get the money that the [other] players got.
‘Listen, wherever you play football, it’s football. Football connects people. It’s a dream we share, both of us.
‘We do things for ourselves and our family. Who would judge you in five or ten years when you have a wealthy, healthy life and have a good life?
‘I don’t think anything is for free. You don’t work for free. I don’t work for free. I don’t need money but I am very expensive, that’s the difference.’
Neymar, who moved from Paris Saint-Germain to Al Hilal, is earning close to £2.6m a week
France star Karim Benzema made a shock summer transfer from Real Madrid to Al-Ittihad
Ibrahimovic also gave insight into his time playing under Pep Guardiola at Barcelona, revealing he told this former coach he ‘had no balls’ following a spat over whether or not he could drive his Ferrari to training.
Describing one of the first times he met Guardiola, Ibrahimovic said: ‘When I met Pep, he told me: “Remember, the players here do not come with Ferraris.”
‘What did I do? Of course. I brought my f***ing Ferrari. I yelled: “You haven’t got any b***s!” and worse than that I added: “You can go to hell!”‘
Ibrahimovic, who played for Man United from 2016 to 2018, controversially defended the Glazers’ ownership of the club.
He insisted ‘they are investing’ and claimed it is ‘wrong to say they are not doing what the fans expect them to do’.
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