Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has described former AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic as a ‘harsh leader’.
The Frenchman also admitted that some of his former teammates at Manchester United struggled with Ibrahimovic’s criticism.
Pogba and Ibrahimovic were former teammates during their time together at Manchester United.
“I think there are different kinds of leaders,” Pogba told Al Jazeera, adding: “Zlatan is a leader who is harsh and is strong. With me, I’m fine, like he could [say], ‘You played very badly yesterday, what were you doing? Go train today’.
“So he’s a leader. He wants you to win, but he says it in a harsh way, which I like. Some people like it; some people don’t. He can bring some people up, but he can also bring some people down. With Zlatan, you need to be strong mentally. It’s like a [Michael] Jordan style, I would say.”
Pogba went further, saying: “Patrice Evra, who was a leader with the national team and in Manchester, is totally different. He comes and talks to you in a nice way, sometimes he can go hard on you, but not all the time. There are some leaders who don’t really speak, but on the pitch, they will always show you. An example I will give you here in Italy, [Andrea] Pirlo.
“Pirlo was a leader. On the pitch, a big leader, he’s not someone who speaks a lot in the changing room, but on the pitch, he gave you this confidence, this trust. He was a different kind of leader.”
Ibrahimovic recently retired from professional football at the age of 41.
The former Swedish international also played for clubs like Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, and Ajax before his retirement.