Football News

‘If you were on the losing side with Ibrahimovic in Man Utd training, he’d kill you’ – Luke Shaw

By Ben Green

Published: 10:59, 8 April 2020 | Updated: 23:12, 20 September 2022

Luke Shaw has recounted his experience of sharing a dressing room with Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Manchester United, describing how the “mad” marksman wasn’t afraid to “put his foot down.”

The legendary Swede relocated to Old Trafford on a free transfer in 2016, rekindling his association with Jose Mourinho, whom he helped lift the Serie A title during his Inter Milan days.

Ibra’s fleeting but successful Man Utd stint: Five things to know…

  • Man Utd secured Ibrahimovic’s services on a free transfer after the prolific hitman left PSG in 2016.
  • His maiden campaign at Old Trafford yielded 28 goals in all competitions and culminated in a League Cup and Europa League double.
  • Unfortunately for the Swede he was restricted to just seven appearances the following season, owing to an ACL injury.
  • He left for LA Galaxy in 2018 but not without leaving his mark on the north-west club.
  • Shaw has hailed Ibrahimovic for the impact he had in the dressing room, describing the mercurial marvel as “mad” but “needed” at the time.

Having left Paris Saint-Germain after four excessively productive years, Ibrahimovic made an immediate impact in the Premier League and helped Man Utd to a League Cup and Europa League double during his debut season for the club.

His time at Old Trafford proved short-lived as an ACL injury plagued his second season at the club and he soon left for Major League Soccer, moving across the Atlantic to join LA Galaxy.

Man Utd are yet to win another piece of silverware since Ibrahimovic left the club and Shaw has now detailed the profound impact his former teammate had on himself and the entire dressing room.

“He was mad. I think he was what we needed in the dressing room,’ the United full-back said during the Combat Corona FIFA Twitch tournament.

“He’s unbelievable, he still had the talent and even though he was a bit older he was still the amazing player that he had been.

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“But I think inside the dressing room he was great. He had a lot of jokes but I think when it got serious, and when he had to sort of put his foot down, you knew about it.

“I think he was a born winner. Even in little training games, if he didn’t win and you were on his team he would absolutely kill you.

“So I think he got the best out of everyone when he was there, as in training-wise, because people couldn’t sort of [slack] off because if you’re on his team and you lose, you’re dead.

“And honestly you can ask anyone in the team, that was the situation. But I think everyone loved him and it was just disappointing that he got that bad injury.”