Zlatan Ibrahimovic has given an account of what transpired between him and Romelu Lukaku during January's Milan derby. The Swede also admitted to referring to Lukaku's mother's 'voodoo rituals' as a way of getting back at the Belgian striker.
I accused Lukaku's mother of voodoo and she attacked me with injuries - Ibrahimovic makes bold claims over Milan derby bust-up
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romleu Lukaku were at the centre of a raucous face-off during January's Milan derby
The two elite strikers were involved in an on-field altercation during the Coppa Italia quarter-final match, with the former teammates clashing heads before squaring up again in the tunnel. Ibrahimovic was sent off during the game and had to deny making racial remarks in the aftermath of the game.
The AC Milan striker has now admitted that indeed he made comments concerning Lukaku's mother but they were in response to the then Inter Milan striker's below-the-belt comment.
"He first argued with [Alessio] Romagnoli, then with [Alexis] Saelemaekers. I intervened to defend my teammates and Lukaku attacked me on a personal level. I was shocked. We even were teammates at Manchester United. Lukaku has a great ego, he thinks he's a champion and he's really strong. But I grew up in the Malmo ghetto, and when someone comes under me with his head down, I put him in his place," Ibrahimovic told Football Italia.
The 40-year-old striker then stated that he brought up rumours about Lukaku's mother being involved in voodoo as a way to retaliate against the bulky forward.
"So, I hit him in his sweet spot: his Mum's rituals. And he lost control," Ibrahimovic said.
The bullish striker then suggested that the rumours might be true as he went on to list a retinue of unfortunate events that befell him after he made those comments.
"Although, I still have a terrible doubt… we lost that derby. I was sent off. Then I got injured. A lot of bad things happened. You'll see that the Lukaku rituals really got me?" the striker quipped.
"I asked my believing friends to pray for me. I have to settle the bill with him too. I hope to meet him soon. On the street? No, these are things that must be resolved on the pitch. I don't hate anyone, much less Lukaku."
Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were teammates at Manchester United before playing on opposing sides of the Milan derby last season. Lukaku led the Nerazzurri to the Serie A title before completing a return to Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel during the summer transfer window.