What happened when I told Ibrahimovic he was a sh*t attacker – Lille star Maignan

Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan has recounted how he once branded Zlatan Ibrahimovic a “sh*t attacker” when he was a youth on the books of Paris Saint-Germain, and the surprising reaction of the Swede in the aftermath.

The 24-year-old was a standout performer for Lille last season as they finished second in Ligue 1 to PSG, and as he prepares for a Champions League match with Chelsea, he has reflected upon his time with the capital side.

He was a youth player there from 2009, as a 14-year-old, before graduating to the reserves in 2012. Ultimately, he moved on to Lille in 2015 without playing a game for the first team, but he crossed paths with Ibrahimovic in training, with one incident in particular winning him the respect of the Swedish superstar.

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“Even if we’re not in touch today, I like him,” he told France Football. “He’s honest. He says what he has to say to you to your face. But when you speak to him, you have to be careful, that you’re not too perfect.

“He had a go a me and I answered him.

“For some people, it was not normal because I was only 17, but for me it was the right thing to do.

“He was practising shooting and the ball was going past me at 400km an hour! Gianluigi Buffon, Julio Cesar, these guys wouldn’t have stopped those shots.

“He told me: ‘You’re a sh*t goalkeeper.’

“For me, that wasn’t right. The next time, he came back but I stopped his shot. I had to respond: ‘You’re a sh*t attacker.’

“He just looked at me and didn’t say anything.

“Back in the changing room, he stopped me. He told me that it’s good, that he liked what I did and that he liked my personality.

“I loved him before but it made me like him even more.”

Ibrahimovic, now 38, is currently on the lookout for a new club, with his deal at the LA Galaxy set to expire at the end of 2019.

He is being strongly linked with a move back to Serie A, with AC Milan having emerged as his most likely destination.  

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