Back in 2009, Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined Barcelona after a splendid season with Inter Milan where he scored 29 goals in 47 games.
What was Lionel Messi’s reaction to the striker arriving? A 2012 book titled ‘The Messi Mystery’ by Sebastian Fest and Alex Juilliard – per Goal.com – claims that a concerned Messi sent Guardiola a text message.
Spanish football writer Ben Hayward wrote: “The exact wording of Messi’s message is disputed, but the sentiment straightforward. ‘I can see that I am no longer important to the team, so …’ Unlike his perfect plays on the pitch, Messi had left this one unfinished.”
Of course, it all worked out for the little magician in the end as he went on to win his first Ballon d’Or after a splendid 2009-10 season.
Zlatan’s move ultimately did not pay off as he never seemed at home with Barcelona and coach Pep Guardiola and the striker didn’t get along well. The striker left the club on loan next season, and then the move to AC Milan became permanent in 2011.
In his autobiography, ‘I am Zlatan’, the Swede wrote: “[Pep] preferred to make Messi happy – he didn’t value me.”
Perhaps Ibrahimovic was just never meant to be with Barca – the Catalan club did not suffer though, as we won 2 Champions League titles in the next 5 years after his departure.