Tuesday October 24 2017
Raiola: ‘Why Ibra joined Inter’

Mino Raiola insists Zlatan Ibrahimovic didn’t leave Juventus due to Calciopoli - “I felt it was time to move to Inter”.

The Swedish striker joined the Bianconeri from Ajax in 2004, but following their demotion to Serie B in the Calciopoli scandal, he made the switch to the Beneamata.

“When Zlatan left Juventus, he’d already been prepared for a year,” Raiola insisted, speaking to Expressen.

“It wasn’t because of the scandal, it was nothing to do with that, I had already arranged the deal.

“I felt it was time to move to Inter, and in my opinion Zlatan was the ideal. He went to Inter to write history.

“He didn’t like the idea of going to Inter at first. Then he was irritated because he knew I was right.

“At the end of the day though he does what he wants. No animal in the world; elephant, weapons or bombs can make him do something he doesn’t want to do.

“After Barcelona I knew he had to go back to Milan, but not to Inter.”

Ibrahimovic is now 36 and recovering from a cruciate ligament injury, but Raiola doesn’t expect him to retire any time soon.

“He has so much time ahead of him, at least five or six years. I won’t let him stop, he has to work for me. I’ve been working for him for so many years, now it’s my turn!

“My kids are adults and I need money, he accepted to work for me for only five years. We’re very similar in many ways, but different in other ways.

“Obviously he made me, but in Sweden they also say that I made him. The truth is that we created each other.

“When Zlatan was coming up, I always gave him Pavel Nedved as an example. Now I give my young players Zlatan as a reference. Zlatan has surpassed and raised the level.

“Now I’m waiting for someone to raise it even more. It’s very difficult, but [Paul] Pogba is close and also [Romelu] Lukaku.

“They have something inside you can’t buy or create. Each of them has a special flame.”