Ashley Cole has opened up on his experience of sharing a dressing room with one of football’s most fascinating characters: Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The duo were only team-mates for less than half a season after Ibrahimovic famously crossed the pond and joined LA Galaxy in March 2018, a club for whom Cole had been representing since 2016 after he too left Europe for a stateside sojourn.
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Cole would leave Major League Soccer that summer, finishing his career with one last hurrah in England for Derby County, while Ibrahimovic would stay on for another 20 months, during which time he bagged 53 goals in just 58 appearances.
The Swedish legend is now producing similar heroics back at Milan, whom he represented between 2010 and 2012, but away from his insatiable appetite for goal-getting, the soon-to-be 40-year-old has garnered a bit of a reputation for his unpredictable personality.
One of the game’s much-beloved characters, former England international Cole has now shed light on exactly what it’s like being in the same dressing room as the larger-than-life centre-forward.
“He has two personalities, with us in the dressing room he was brilliant, quiet, very humble but for the media he was God,” Cole said on A League of their Own.
“He had moments where he would come in the dressing room and really let people know about their s*** touch, you can’t run, you’re slow but in front of the media his persona changed.”
Cole was actually the captain of Galaxy upon Ibrahimovic’s arrival, and he went on to reveal how the towering forward once confronted him.
He continued: “He tried to once, he did throw his hands in the air. And I said: ‘Put your f****** hands down’, I’m deadly serious, honestly.
“I was thinking: ‘You might have a little point, but don’t put your hands up’.”