I am Zalatan 伊布自传读书摘要

      上个月就已经把伊布的自传《I am Zalatan 》给看完了,此书不知为何在国内没有出版,所以看的是英文原版。虽然阅读过程略有磕磕盼盼,但是也因为看的是原版更好的理解了伊布这个有意思的家伙。全书其实非常口语化,没有什么特别高大上的生僻词,但是有不少所谓俗语,比如 称呼别人为lad,当然还有更多骂人的词眼。

      这本自传基本介绍了他从小时一直到返回意大利投身米兰这段时间的所有历程。这本书是一本非常让人有阅读趣味的自传,其实很不容易,比如巴乔的那本《天空之门》,书中各种无聊的记述和自我吹嘘粉饰就让我看的索然乏味,甚至让我对巴乔好感骤降。这其中的区别在我看来就在于伊布很诚实,在书中他向我们所有读者展现了他的童年、他的不幸家庭、他的父母教育方式、家庭的烦恼、酗酒的父亲、对厌恶的人的唾弃……没有粉饰和隐瞒,在这些看似不易的坎坷中才让伊布现在貌似的张狂显得那么合理。

      从伊布这本自传中,我也看到对于一个希望在足球领域有所成就的人来说,无论你的性格是不是讨人喜欢,这根本不重要;重要的是,你是不是足够爱足球,你是不是清楚你所在位置需要怎样的素质,以及足够的好胜心。按照伊布自己话来说就是他踢球的动力就是让全世界的人呼喊他的名字,报复所有曾经敌视他的人。也许就是这种有些畸形的内生动力,让他会有激怒周围人群的冲动,因为需要用冲突来及激发复仇欲望吧。

      还有一个有意思的细节是,伊布同志是个TV game的超级玩家,曾经通过打实况,FIFA磨练自己的大局观和动作意识。

最后,感兴趣的朋友可以到这里下载这本书:

英文版   http://gen.lib.rus.ec/get?md5=ab38e219536d18cc00547ded74b05d71

很多爱好者翻译了这本书,但是章节不一定齐全的中文版

前三章 http://www.douban.com/people/Sissilia/notes

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下面我摘抄下来的书中最有意思或最有感触的段落,方便大家快速了解这个有趣的人。

71/726

“It’s late. Dinner’s ready. Time to come in.”

“In a minute,” we’d say and carry on playing, and it could get late and start raining and all hell could break loose, but we just carried on playing.

We were completely inexhaustible, and the pitch was small. You had to be quick with your head and your feet, especially with me being little and puny and easily getting tackled, and I learned wicked new stuff all the time. I had to. Otherwise I didn’t get any ‘wows’, nobody would get me going. Often I’d sleep with my football and think of the tricks I was going to do the next day. It was like a film that was rolling constantly.

89/726

One day we were playing floorball. That special teacher came and stared. Every little thing I did, she was there, like a barnacle. I was really fuming. I lined up a world-class shot and hit her square in the head. She was completely stunned, and just stared at me. Afterwards they rang Dad and wanted to talk about psychiatric help and a special school and that kind of shit, and you know that was not the right stuff to talk to my dad about. Nobody says bad things about his kids, especially teachers who are persecuting them. He went spare and charged into the school with his whole cowboy attitude: “Who the hell are you? Coming and talking about psychiatric help? You’re the ones who ought to be in the nuthouse, the whole lot of you. But there’s nothing wrong with my son, he’s a fine lad, you can all go to hell!”

He was a crazy Yugo and completely in his element. Not long after that, the teacher quit. No wonder, really, and things did get a bit better. I got my self-confidence back. But even so, the whole idea! A special teacher, just for me! It makes me furious. Sure, maybe I wasn’t an angel. But you can’t single out kids like that! You just can’t!

105/726

I really put my all into it and wasn’t satisfied with just going to Malmö FF’s training sessions. I also spent hours playing on the pitch at my mum’s as well. I had a trick. I’d head out to Rosengård and shout to the kids, “You’ll get a tenner if you can get the ball away from me!” It wasn’t just a game. It polished my technique. It taught me to use my body to guard the ball.

When I wasn’t goofing around with the little kids, I’d play football videogames. I could go ten hours at a stretch, and I’d often spot solutions in the games that I parlayed into real life. It was football 24/7, you could say.

113/726

It was right after I had been taken up into the first team. We were out training on Pitch No. 1 and obviously we were Malmö FF. We were – or rather, had been – the pride of the city. But there weren’t many people who came to watch our training sessions, especially in those days. But that afternoon, a bloke with dark greyish hair turned up. I spotted him from far away. I didn’t recognise him. I just noticed that he was staring at us from near a tree over there, and I felt a little strange. It was like I could sense something, and so I started to do even more tricks. But it took a while before the penny dropped.

I’d had to look out for myself when I was growing up, I hadn’t had much, and sure, Dad had done some totally amazing things as well. But he hadn’t been like the other dads I’d seen. He hadn’t watched my matches or encouraged me with my studies. He’d had his drinking and his war and his Yugo music. But now, I couldn’t believe it. That bloke really was my dad. He had come to watch, and I was completely blown away. It was as if I was dreaming, and I started to play with incredible strength. Shit, Dad’s here! This is mental. Look at me, Dad, I wanted to yell. Look at me! Check it out! Your son is the most amazing, awesome player!

I believe that was one of my greatest moments. I really do. I got him back. Not that I didn’t have him before. If there had been a crisis, he’d come rushing up like the Incredible Hulk. But this was something totally new, and afterwards I ran over and chatted to him a bit, just casually, as if it was totally natural that my dad was there.

“How’s it going?”

“Well played, Zlatan.”

It was weird. Dad had got some sort of bug, I thought. I became his drug. He started following everything I did. He came to watch every training session. His flat became like a shrine to my career, and he cut out every article, every little piece, and he’s kept on with it.

121/726

There must have been something about that report. Now even more kids started coming up after the training sessions, and in fact, some teenaged girls as well, and even some adults. That was the launch of the whole hysteria, all that ‘Zlatan, Zlatan!’ that would become my life, and which seemed so unreal at first – like, what’s going on? Are they talking about me?

I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t the most awesome thing in the world. I mean, what do you think? I had been trying to get attention my whole life, and now, suddenly, people were turning up, awestruck, asking for my autograph. Of course that was cool. It was a major buzz. I was pumped up. I was full of adrenaline. I was flying. You know, I’ve heard people go, oh, I’ve got it so tough, there are people screaming outside my window. They want my autograph, poor me. That’s bullshit.

Those things get you going, believe me – especially if you’ve had a life like mine, growing up as a snot-nosed kid on a council estate. It’s like a massive spotlight has been switched on.

133/726

Even so, I asked him. I didn’t want to look like a pushover, after all. “Erm, Hasse,” I said. “Can’t I get a percentage if I get sold?” But of course, I didn’t expect anything else. “Sorry, lad!” he said. “That’s not how it works,” and I told my dad. I assumed he would accept it. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. But that’s not what happened. He went ballistic and asked me for Hasse Borg’s number. He phoned once, twice, three times, and finally got hold of him, and wouldn’t be satisfied with a ‘no’ over the phone. He demanded a meeting and it was decided, we would meet with Hasse Borg at ten o’clock the following morning in his office, and you can imagine. I was nervous. Dad was Dad, and I was worried things might get out of control, and to be honest, it wasn’t the calmest meeting either! Dad went off on one pretty fast. He started sputtering and pounding his fist on the desk.

135/726

I made a number of brilliant goals, and all the Brazilian skills I’d spent hour upon hour practising were starting to take hold. All the effort with that stuff was finally paying off. In the junior squad I’d mainly got a load of crap for it and heard the parents moaning. Oh, he’s dribbling again! He’s not playing for the team, and all that. But now there were cheers and applause coming from the stands, and I realised immediately that this was my chance. There might still be a lot of people complaining. But it’s not nearly as easy when we’re winning matches and the fans love me.

142/726

Early on in the first half I got a pass from the right. I was just outside the penalty area, and we were in our pale blue kit. The clock read 15:37 if you go by the flickering video recording that’s up on YouTube. It was warm, but there was a good breeze blowing in from the coast, and it didn’t look like a critical situation. The play was cautious. But I saw a gap – a chance. It was one of those images that just pop into my head, one of those flashbulb moments that whizz into your thoughts, which I’ve never been able to explain properly. Football isn’t something you plan in advance. Football just happens, and as soon as I got the ball I chipped it over a defender, one of those little lobs that you instantly feel is perfect, and then I just went for it. I accelerated past two defenders and reached the ball a few metres inside the penalty area, ideally positioned for a backheel.

I backheeled it over another defender, ran up and shot with my left foot on the volley, and for a moment you’re left wondering, you have time to think even though everything happens in under a tenth of a second: Will it go in? Will it miss? But no, it just sailed in. That was one of the most beautiful goals I’d scored, and I ran out across the pitch, screaming with my arms stretched wide. The journalists who were there were convinced I was shouting, “Zlatan, Zlatan!” But come on, why would I be shouting my own name? I was yelling, “Showtime, showtime!”

186/726

My name wasn’t there. I wouldn’t even be sitting on the bench. I was going to stay at home, and of course, I realised. That was my punishment. That was Micke’s way of showing who was in charge, and okay, I accepted it, what else could I do? I didn’t even get angry when he told the press that I was “under pressure and out of balance,” and “needed some rest”, basically like he was dropping me because he was such a kind-hearted guy, and in fact, I was naïve enough to believe that the club’s management were still planning something, maybe some event with the supporters.

Soon afterwards I was summoned to Hasse Borg’s office, and as you know, I don’t like that sort of thing. I think I’m going to get a talking-to or something. But there was so much going on then that I just went there without expecting anything, and there in the office stood Hasse and Bengt Madsen, looking generally uptight and stuck-up, and I wondered, what’s this all about, is this a funeral?

“Zlatan, our time together is drawing to a close.”

“You don’t mean …”

“We’d like to say …”

“So you’re going to see me off in here?” I said, looking around.

We were in Hasse’s stupid, boring office, just the three of us in there.

“So you’re not going to do it in front of the fans?”

“Well,” said Bengt Madsen, “people say it’s bad luck to do it before a match.”

I just looked at him. It’s bad luck?

“You said goodbye to Niclas Kindvall in front of 30,000 people, and that still went all right.”

“Yes, but …”

“Whaddaya mean, but?”

“We’d like to give you this gift.”

“What the hell is this?”

It was a ball, an ornament made out of crystal.“This is a memento.”

“So this is how you’re thanking me for the 85 million kronor?”

What were they thinking? That I would take it along to Amsterdam and, like, weep when I looked at it?

“We’d like to express our gratitude.”

“I don’t want it. You can keep it.”

“You can’t just …”

Yes, I could. I put the crystal thing on the table. Then I got out of there. That was my farewell from the club – no more, no less – and sure, I wasn’t happy about it. Nevertheless, I shook it off. I mean, I was on my way out of there, and really, what was Malmö FF anyway? My real life was about to start now, and the more I thought about it, the bigger it got.

203/726

Both he and Hyypiä were on me like leeches. A little way into the match, I fought my way to the ball down by the corner flag and went into the penalty area, and there stood Henchoz. He was blocking me on the goal side, and of course I had several choices. I was in a tight spot, but I could make a cross or play it back or try to go in towards the goal.

I tried doing a feint with one foot, a cool thing Ronaldo and Romário did a lot, which was one of the moves I’d watched on the computer when I was a junior and had practised for hours and hours until I could do them in my sleep and didn’t even need to think in order to pull them out of the bag. It just came naturally. This one was called the Snake, because if you do it well it’s like a snake slithering alongside your feet. But it’s not all that easy to do. You need to have your outer side behind the ball and quickly nudge it to the right and then suddenly angle it with the tip of your boot to the left, and get past, like, boom, boom, quick as a flash, having total control with the ball glued to your foot, like an ice hockey player cradling the puck.

I’d used that move many times at Malmö and in the Superettan League, but never against a world-class defender like Henchoz. It was just, like, I’d already felt it against Milan, the whole atmosphere got me going. It was more fun to dribble towards a guy like him, and now things got even more intense. Swish, swish, it went, and Stéphane Henchoz flew towards the right. He didn’t keep up at all and I whizzed past, and the entire Milan squad sitting along the sideline stood up and screamed. The entire Amsterdam Arena screamed.

This was definitely showtime, and afterwards when I was surrounded by journalists, I came out with that line, and I promise you, I never plan what I’m going to say. It just happens, and it happened a lot in those days before I got more cautious around the media. “First I went left,” I said, “and he did too. Then I went right, and he did too. Then I headed left, and he went out to buy a hot dog,” and that got repeated all over the place, it became a famous quote. Somebody even made a commercial with it, and people were saying that Milan were interested in me. I was called the new van Basten and all sorts of stuff, and I felt like, wow, I’m awesome. I’m the Brazilian from Rosengård, and truly, that should have been the start of a brilliant season.

233/726

She wasn’t at all like the younger girls I’d met. There was none of the hysteria, not at all – she was cool. She liked cars. She’d left home when she was 17 and worked her way up, and I wasn’t exactly a superstar to her. Or as she put it: “Come on, Zlatan, you weren’t exactly Elvis who’d beamed in.” I was just a crazy bloke to her, who wore hideous clothes and was totally immature, and sometimes she’d tease me a bit.

“Evil super bitch deluxe”, I’d reply, or Evilsuperbitchdeluxe as all one word, in a single breath, because she’d go round in wicked stiletto heels and tight jeans and fur coats and stuff. She was like Tony Montana in Scarface, only a girl, whereas I was slobbing around in tracksuits again. The whole thing between us was so wrong it somehow felt right, and we had a good time together. “Zlatan, you’re an absolute idiot. You’re so much fun,” she said, and I really hoped she meant it. I enjoyed being with her.

But she came from a respectable nuclear family in a small town called Lindesberg – the kind of family where they say, “Darling, could you please pass me the milk,” whereas in my family we’d generally threaten to kill each other over the dinner table, like I said, and there were many times when she didn’t even understand what I was saying. I didn’t understand anything about her world, and she knew nothing about mine. I was 11 years younger and lived in the Netherlands and was a nutter with dodgy friends. It wasn’t exactly an ideal situation.

241/726

Later on, when he’d been on the bench against Eindhoven, he came into the locker room and called us all miserable cunts. That sparked off a massive row and insults were flying, and I responded by saying that if anybody was a cunt it was him, and then he picked up a pair of scissors that were lying there on the bench and flung them at me, completely nuts. The scissors whizzed past my head, straight into the concrete wall and made a crack in it. Of course I went over and gave him a smack, a slap. But ten minutes later we left with our arms round each other, and much later I found out that our team manager had kept those scissors as a souvenir, something to show his kids, like, Zlatan nearly got these in his face.

260/726

Van Basten is a legend, one of the best strikers ever, maybe not in the same class as Ronaldo, but still, he’d scored over 200 goals and completely dominated at Milan. That was just over ten years since he’d been voted the best player in the world by FIFA, and now he’d just completed a coaching course run by the football association and was going to be an assistant coach for the Ajax youth squad, his first step on that path. That’s why he was there with us at our training sessions.

I was like a little boy around him, at least at first. But I got used to it. We spoke nearly every day, and we had some good times together. He would get me fired up before every match. We’d chat and make bets and joke around.

“Well, how many goals are you gonna make this time? I say one.”

“One? You’re having a laugh. I’ll get at least two.”

“Bullshit. Wanna make a bet?”

“How much are you willing to lose?”

We kept it up, and he gave me lots of advice, and he was really a cool guy. He did things his own way and didn’t give a damn what the bosses thought. He was totally independent. I’d come in for criticism because I didn’t work enough to the rear, or even because I just stood around on the pitch while the opposing side were attacking, and I’d done some thinking about it of course and wondered what to do about it. I asked van Basten.

“Don’t listen to the coaches!” he said.

“So, what then?”

“Don’t waste your energy defending. You’ve got to use your strength in attacking. You’ll serve your team best by attacking and scoring goals, not by wearing yourself out in the rear.” That became another one of the things I picked up: you’ve got to save your energy for scoring goals.

263/726

“Zlatan,” said Koeman, “you’ve played brilliantly, but you’re only getting an eight. You haven’t worked hard enough at the back.”

“Okay, fine,” I said, wanting to leave.

I liked Koeman, but couldn’t cope with van Gaal, and I thought, great, an eight will do me. Can a have a break now?

“Do you know how to play in defence?”

Van Gaal was sticking his oar in, and I could see that Koeman was getting annoyed too.

“I hope so,” I replied.

Then van Gaal started to explain, and believe me, I’d heard it all before. It was the same old stuff about how Number 9 – that is, me – defends to the right while 10 goes to the left, and vice versa, and he drew a bunch of arrows and finished with a really harsh, “Do you understand? Do you get all this?” and I took it as an attack.

“You can wake up any of the players at three in the morning,” I said, “and ask them how to defend and they’ll rattle it off in their sleep, 9 goes here and 10 goes there. We know that stuff, and we know you’re the one who came up with it. But I’ve trained with van Basten, and he thinks otherwise.”

“Excuse me?”

“Van Basten says Number 9 should save his strength for attacking and scoring goals, and to tell the truth, now I don’t know who I should listen to: van Basten – who’s a legend – or van Gaal?” I said, putting special emphasis on the name van Gaal, as if he were some completely insignificant figure. And what do you think? Was he happy?

He was fuming. Who should I listen to: a legend or a van Gaal?

“I’ve gotta go now,” I said and got out of there.

304/726

与范德法特的冲突

He made it 1–0, and afterwards van der Vaart was lying in pain on the pitch. He was stretchered off with a torn ligament in his ankle, nothing serious. But he might miss a match or two, and he went and claimed in the papers that I’d injured him on purpose. I gave a start. What kind of shit was that? There wasn’t even a free kick awarded, so how could he say that stuff about doing it on purpose? And that guy was supposed to be my team captain!

I phoned him up and said, “Listen up, I’m sorry, it’s a shame about your injury, I apologise, but it wasn’t intentional, you got that?” And I said the same thing to the journalists. I said it a hundred times. But van der Vaart carried on, and I couldn’t understand it. Why the hell was he going round trashing his teammate? It didn’t make any sense. Or did it?

I started to wonder – because don’t forget, this was August and the transfer window was open. Maybe he wanted to fight his way out of the club? Or fight me out as well, for that matter? It wouldn’t exactly be the first time somebody tried that kind of trick, and the guy had the media on his side down there.

I mean, he was the Dutchman. He was the darling of the gossip pages, and I was a bad boy and all that, the foreigner. “Are you serious?” I asked him when I saw him at the training ground. He clearly was.

“Okay, okay,” I said. “I’ll say it one last time. It was not intentional. D’you hear me?”

“I hear you!”

But he didn’t back down even a millimetre, and the atmosphere in the club got more and more heated. The whole team divided into two camps. The Dutch were on Rafael’s side, and the foreigners were on mine. Finally Koeman called us in to a meeting, and by that time I was completely obsessed with this thing. What the hell, accusing me of something like that? I was absolutely seething, and we all sat in a circle there at the meeting in our lunch room on the third floor, and I could immediately sense it in the air. This was serious. The management insisted that we should patch things up. We were key players, and we had to get on. But there weren’t any openings right away. Rafael came out harder than ever.

“Zlatan did it on purpose,” he said, and I saw red.

What the hell! Why wasn’t he giving this up?

“I didn’t injure you on purpose, and you know that, and if you accuse me again I’ll break both your legs, and that time it will be on purpose,” I said, and of course, everybody on van der Vaart’s side immediately started going, “You see, you see, he’s aggressive. He’s nuts,” and Koeman tried to calm things down.

“Now, we don’t need to go that far, we can sort this out.”

But honestly, that didn’t feel very likely, and we were summoned in to see Louis van Gaal, the director. He and I had argued in the past, and it was no fun having to go into van Gaal’s office together with van der Vaart. I didn’t exactly feel surrounded by friends, and van Gaal immediately launched into his power play.

307/726

We were playing against Breda, and with 20 minutes remaining we were ahead 3–0. As a replacement for Rafael van der Vaart we’d brought in a young guy from the Ajax youth academy called Wesley Sneijder, and that kid was good. He was an intelligent player. He scored 4–1. He broke through, and just five minutes after his goal I got the ball some 20 metres outside the penalty area. I had a defender on my back and I nudged and forced my way around him and broke loose, and then I dribbled past another guy. That was the beginning. That was the intro.

I continued with a fake shot and got nearer the penalty area and feinted again. I was trying to find a shooting position. But I kept getting new defenders on me. They were swarming around me, and maybe I should have passed, but I didn’t see any chances. Instead, I went forward with a burst of speed and some nimble slalom dribbling, spun round the goalkeeper as well and used my left foot to land the ball in an open goal. That was an instant classic.

It was christened my Maradona goal, because it was somewhat reminiscent of Maradona’s goal against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final. It was a dribble past the entire team, and the whole stadium exploded. Everybody went nuts. Even Koeman was leaping about like a madman, regardless of how much I wanted to leave him. It was like all the hatred against me was transformed into love and triumph.

Everybody was cheering and screaming, they were all on their feet, jumping up and down – all except one, that is. The cameras panned across the roaring stadium over to Rafael van der Vaart. He was sitting there, stock-still. He was expressionless, didn’t move a muscle, even though his own team had scored a goal. He just sat there, as if my performance was about the worst thing that had ever happened to him, and maybe it was. Because, don’t forget, before the kickoff they’d all been booing me!

339/726

I was about to make a serious breakthrough in Italy, and yet, and of course I knew this, it takes so little in football. One minute you’re a hero, the next you’re shit. The special training with Galbiati had produced results, no doubt about that. By being fed balls in front of the goal I’d become more effective and tougher in the box. I’d absorbed a whole range of new situations into my bloodstream, and I didn’t need to think so much – it just happened: bam, bam.

350/726

Other times when I needed a boost I’d get a tattoo done. Tattoos became like a drug for me. I always wanted something new. But they were never impulsive things. They were all thought through. Even so, I was against them in the beginning. Thought they were, like, bad taste. But I got tempted anyway. Alexander Östlund helped me find my way, and the first tattoo I got was my name across my waist in white ink. You can only see it when I have a tan. It was mainly a test.

414/726

“Zlatan’s accepted,” he said.

This was good news. This was big. I could tell from his tone of voice. But it wasn’t finished yet. Now the clubs had to negotiate their terms. How much would I be sold for? This was a new game, and sure, if Juventus lost me, at least they’d get a hefty sum. But before anything was settled, Moratti rang me.

“Are you happy?”

“I’m happy,” I said.

“Then I’d like to welcome you,” and you can understand I let out a sigh of relief.

All the uncertainty of that spring and summer vanished in an instant, and the only thing left was for Mino to phone the management of AC Milan. Berlusconi would hardly want to eat supper with me now. We weren’t exactly going to chat about the weather, and if I understood correctly, the AC Milan crew had just had the rug pulled out from under them, like, what the hell happened? Is Ibra going to Inter now?

“Things can happen fast sometimes,” Mino said.

In the end, I was bought for €27 million, which is around 270 million kronor. It was the biggest transfer fee that year in Serie A, and I even got out of paying the fines I’d got for playing on my PlayStation at the training camp. Mino magicked them away, and Moratti was quoted in the press saying my transfer was just as significant as when the club had bought Ronaldo, and of course that went straight to my heart. I was ready for Inter. But first I had to go to a meeting for the Swedish national side in Gothenburg, and I was expecting a nice, easy trip before things got serious.

427/726

打破国米内部的阿根廷帮

The real challenge was the cliques. That bothered me right from day one, and it wasn’t just because I was from Rosengård, where everybody just got along in one big jumble – Turks, Somalis, Yugos, Arabs. It was also because I’d seen it clearly in football, both at Juventus and at Ajax: every team performs better when the players are united. At Inter Milan, it was the opposite. The Brazilians sat in one corner, the Argentinians in another, and then the rest of us in the middle. It was so superficial, so lazy.

Okay, sure, sometimes you sort of get cliques forming in clubs. It’s not good when that happens. But at least people usually choose their friends and stick with the ones they get on with. Here, it was according to nationality. It was so primitive. They played football together. Otherwise they lived in separate worlds, and that drove me crazy. I knew straight away that had to change or we wouldn’t win the league title. Some might say, what does it matter who we eat lunch with? Believe me, it matters. If you don’t stick together off the pitch, it shows in your game.

It impacts on motivation and team spirit. In football, the margins are so small that those kinds of things can be the deciding factor, and I saw it as my first big test to put an end to that stuff. But I realised it wasn’t enough to just talk the talk.

I went round saying, what is this crap? Why are you sitting in these groups like schoolkids? And sure, a lot of them agreed with me. Others got a little embarrassed, but nothing happened. Old habits die hard. Those invisible barriers were too high. So I went up to Moratti again, and this time I made it as clear as I could. Inter hadn’t won the league title for ages. Was that going to carry on? Were we going to be losers just because people couldn’t be bothered to talk to one another?

492/726

国米17年首冠后的感言

Inter Milan hadn’t won it in seventeen years. They’d had a long, hard spell, filled with suffering and bad luck and shit. But then I came, and now we’d brought home the league title two years in a row, and the whole place was a three-ring circus. People ran onto the pitch and grabbed us, and inside in the changing room everybody was screaming and jumping around. But then people grew silent. Mancini came in. He hadn’t always been so popular, especially after he’d flip-flopped about his future with the club and not done too well in the Champions League. But now he’d won the league trophy, and the players went up, one by one, kind of formal, shook his hand and said, “Thank you so much, you did it for us.” But then Mancini came up to me, completely filled with victory and all the congratulations. The only thing was, he didn’t get a thank-you from me. I said, “You’re welcome” and everyone laughed, like, bloody Ibra, and afterwards when I was speaking to the journalists, several of them asked:

“Who do you dedicate this victory to?”

“To you,” I replied, “to the media, to everybody who doubted and dissed me and Inter!”

That’s how I roll. I’m always planning my revenge. It’s been with me ever since Rosengård, it’s what drives me, and I’ll never forget what Moratti told the media:

“All of Italy was against us, but Zlatan Ibrahimović was the symbol of our struggle.”

493/726

关于魔力鸟

But come on, it was no big club. Porto had finished in the middle of their league the previous year, and the Portuguese league – I mean, what was that? Not much by comparison. Nobody paid attention to Porto in the European tournaments, especially not in the Champions League. But Mourinho came to the club with something completely new: complete knowledge of every single detail about the opposing teams, and sure, I was clueless about that stuff. But I’d find out later on, that’s for sure. In those days he used to talk a lot about conversions in football, when one team’s offensive was smashed and the players had to regroup from attacking to defending mode.

Those seconds are crucial. In situations like that a single unexpected manoeuvre, one little tactical error, can be decisive. Mourinho studied that more thoroughly than anybody else in football and got his players to think quickly and analytically. Porto became experts at exploiting those moments, and against all the odds they won not only the Portuguese league title. They also made it into the Champions League and came up against teams like Manchester United and Real Madrid, clubs where a single player earned as much as the entire Porto squad combined. But Mourinho and his guys still won the Champions League trophy.

543/726

But there they were down in the passage, seven or eight blokes, and not the kind who say things like, excuse me, could we have a quick word? They were guys from the kind of streets I came from: guys brimming with aggression, and everybody around me got nervous, and my pulse went up to 150. I was really stressing out, honestly. But I told myself: you can’t chicken out now. Where I come from you don’t back down. So I went up to them and I saw right away, that made them uneasy, but they played it cocky, like, what the fuck? Ibra’s stepping up to us?

“Are there people who have some sort of beef up there?” I asked.

“Yeah, well, a lot of them are mad…” they began.

“Well, tell them to come down onto the pitch and we’ll sort it out right here, mano a mano!”

Then I walked away, and my heart was pounding. But it felt good. I’d coped with the stress. I’d stood up for myself, but the shit carried on. The supporters’ club demanded an official meeting. But come on. Why should I meet with them again? What was in it for me? I was a footballer. The fans might be loyal to their club. That’s nice. But a footballer’s career is short. He’s got to look after his own interests. He moves around to different clubs. The fans knew that. I knew that, and I told them: apologise on your website for your boos and your jeers, and I’ll be happy. We’ll forget about this. But nothing happened – or rather, the Ultra fans decided they’d neither boo nor cheer me. They’d pretend I didn’t exist. Good luck with that, I thought.

590/726

怒喷瓜瓜

I hadn’t felt anything during the match. But afterwards my calf hurt, and it got worse, and that was shit. I’d regained my form. But now I was going to be out of the return leg at home against Arsenal and the El Clásico that spring, and I didn’t get any support from Guardiola. I got more knock-backs. If I went into a room, he’d leave. He didn’t even want to be near me, and now when I look back on it, it feels completely messed up.

Nobody understood what was going on, not the management, not the players, nobody. But there’s something strange about that man. Like I said, I don’t begrudge him his successes and I’m not saying he’s not a good coach in other respects. But he must have some serious problems. He doesn’t seem able to handle guys like me. Maybe it’s something as simple as a fear of losing his authority. That sort of thing isn’t too unusual, is it? Managers who probably have certain qualities but who can’t deal with strong personalities, and solve it by shutting them out. Cowardly leaders, in other words!

Anyway, he never asked me about my injury. He didn’t dare to. Well, actually, he did speak to me before the Champions League semi-final away against Inter Milan. But he was acting strange and it all went wrong, like I said. Mourinho was right. It wasn’t us, but him who won the Champions League, and afterwards Guardiola treated me like it was all my fault, and that’s when the real storm started brewing.

595/726

That man has no natural authority, no proper charisma. If you didn’t know he was the manager of a top team, you’d hardly notice him entering a room. In that office now, he was fidgeting. I’m sure he was waiting for me to say something. I didn’t say a thing. I waited.

“So then,” he began.

He didn’t look me in the eye.

“I’m not really sure what I want to do with you next season.”

“Okay.”

“It’s up to you and Mino what happens. I mean, you’re Ibrahimović. You’re not a guy who plays in every third match, right?”

He wanted me to say something. I could tell. But I’m not stupid. I know very well: whoever talks the most in these situations comes out worst off. So I kept my mouth shut. I didn’t move a muscle. I sat still. Of course I understood: he had a message, exactly what wasn’t clear. But it sounded like he wanted to get rid of me, and that was no small matter. I was the club’s biggest investment ever. Still, I sat there in silence. I did nothing. Then he repeated:

“I don’t know what I want to do with you. What do you say to that? What’s your comment?”

I had no comment.

“Is that it?” was all I said.

“Yes, but …”

“Thanks then,” I said and left.

I guess I looked cool and hard. That’s how I wanted to look, at least. But I was fuming inside, and when I came out I rang Mino.

596/726

That’s a trait I had from early on. I stepped up. I didn’t run away, and not just with Dad. It was everywhere. My entire childhood was filled with tough people who would go off on a hair-trigger: Mum, my sisters, the lads around the estate, and ever since then I’ve had it in me, that watchful side: What’s happening? Who wants a fight? My body is always ready for battle.

That’s the path I chose. The others in our family took on different roles. Sanela was the one you went to with emotional things. I was the fighter. If anybody gave me shit, I’d give them shit back. That was my way to survive, and I learned not to sugar-coat things. I said things straight out, none of this “You’re really good, you’re great, but…” It was straight in there: “You’ve got to get a fucking grip.” Then I’d take the consequences. That’s how it was. That was how I grew up, and sure, I’d changed a lot by the time I got to Barcelona. I’d met Helena and had children and calmed down, and said stuff like, “Please pass me the butter.” But most of it was still in there. Those days at the club I clenched my fists and prepared to defend my corner. This was in late spring, early summer 2010. The World Cup was coming up in South Africa, and Joan Laporta was leaving Barça.

605/726

为转会AC米兰的暗涌

Sure, I knew all about the incredible things that had happened at Man City and all the money that seemed to be there since the crew from the United Arab Emirates had taken over. City could surely become a big club within a few years. But I’d soon turn 29. I didn’t have time for long-term plans, and money was never the key thing. I wanted to go to a team that could be good now, and there was no club with a history like AC Milan.

“Let’s go for Milan,” I said.

Now when I look back on it, it’s really incredible. Ever since that day Guardiola called me in and told me I’d be sitting on the bench, we’d played a tough game, and of course we realised we were stressing Guardiola and the management out. That was entirely according to plan. The idea was that those guys would become so demoralised they’d have to let me go cheap, which would help us get a good personal contract! We had a meeting with Sandro Rosell, the new president, and we could sense it right away: Sandro Rosell was in a tight spot.

He hadn’t understood what the problem was between me and Guardiola either. He only realised that the situation was untenable and he was going to have to sell me at any price, unless he was going to sack the manager. But he couldn’t do that. Not after all the successes the club had had. Rosell had no choice. Regardless of whether he loved me or hated me, he had to get rid of me.

“I’m sorry about this,” he said. “But things are the way they are. Do you have a particular club you want to go to?”

Mino and I gave him the same line we’d played against Bartomeu.

“Yes, as a matter of fact,” I said, “I do.”

“Good, very good.” Sandro Rosell’s face brightened. “Which club?”

“Real Madrid.”

He went pale. Letting a Barça star go to Real is tantamount to high treason.

“Not possible,” he replied. “Anything but that.”

He was shaken, and both Mino and I could tell: now we’re playing our game. I continued calmly:

“Well, you asked a question and I gave you an answer, and I’m happy to say it again: Real Madrid is the only club I can see myself going to. I like Mourinho. But you’ve got to phone them up and tell them yourselves. Is that okay?”

It was not okay. There was nothing in the world that was less okay, and of course we knew that, and now Sandro Rosell was starting to panic. The club had purchased me for the equivalent of 700 million Swedish kronor. The guy was under pressure to get the money back, but if he sold me to Real, which was Mourinho’s new club, Rosell would basically get lynched by the fans. This wasn’t easy for him, to put it mildly. He couldn’t keep me because of the manager. He couldn’t sell me to their arch-enemy. The bloke had lost the upper hand, and we kept up the pressure.

“But think how smoothly it’ll go. Mourinho’s said himself how much he wants me!”

We knew no such thing. But that was the line we took.

611/726

But it wasn’t that simple. AC Milan didn’t have as much money as they used to, and no matter how desperate Sandro Rosell was, he carried on trying to extract as much money for me as possible. He wanted 50, 40 million euro. But Mino continued to play hardball.

“You won’t get a damn thing. Ibra’s going to Real Madrid. We don’t want to go to Milan.”

“How about 30?”

Time was ticking away, and Rosell lowered his price again and again. Things were looking more and more promising, and Galliani came to visit Helena and me in our house in the hills. Galliani is a real heavyweight and an old mate and business partner of Berlusconi. He’s a bastard of a negotiator.

I’d had dealings with him before. That was when I was leaving Juventus, and that time he’d said: “I’ll offer you this, or nothing!” Juventus was in crisis then, and he had the upper hand. Now the tables were turned. He was the one under pressure. He couldn’t go home without me, not after the promises he’d made and the pressure from the players and fans. Besides, we’d helped him. We’d made sure we got the transfer fee down. It was like he was getting me in the sales.

“These are my conditions,” I said. “It’s this, or nothing,” and I could see how he was thinking things over and sweating.

They were some pretty tough terms.

“Okay,” he said.

“Okay.”

We shook hands, and then the negotiations for my transfer fee continued. That was between the clubs and I wasn’t bothered, not really. But it was quite a drama, and there were a number of factors involved. Time was one. The clock was ticking. The seller’s unease was another. The fact that the manager couldn’t deal with me was another. With every hour, Sandro Rosell got more nervous, and my fee kept going down. Finally, I was sold for €20 million. Twenty million! Thanks to a single person, my price tag had gone down by 50 million euro.

614/726

Everyone in the room gulped, and I could tell they were thinking, how come he’s coming out with this stuff now? But believe me, I needed to say it. Something happened in my head then. I got my motivation back. Just the thought of being able to do my thing again got me fired up – that’s the truth.

When I’d put my signature on that document and said those words, I became myself again. It was like waking up from a nightmare, and for the first time in a long while I was itching to play football. All those thoughts of quitting were gone, and after that I entered a phase when I played out of sheer joy. Or rather, I played out of sheer joy and sheer rage, joy at having escaped from Barça and rage that a single person had destroyed my dream.

It was like I’d been set free, and I also began to see the whole thing more clearly. When I was caught up in the middle of it, I’d mainly tried to buck myself up: it’s not that bad, I’ll get back in, I’ll show them. I kept that up all the time. But then, when it really was over, I realised it had been tough. It had been hard. The person who was supposed to mean the most to me as a footballer had given me the cold shoulder, completely, and that was worse than most stuff I’d been through. I’d been under immense pressure, and in situations like that you need your coach.




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