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“I can tell you some stories!” Koeman recalls the grief Zlatan gave him as his Ajax boss

Date Posted,April 3, 2017

Ronald Koeman is all set for his reunion with Zlatan Ibrahimovic … where he’ll remind him of what a nightmare he was!

Now- Everton boss Koeman gave a young Zlatan his big break at Ajax back at the end of 2001, promoting him to the first team and then watching the Swede blossom into a key part of the side that won the Dutch title that season.

Koeman fondly remembers those days when he was developing as a coach himself – and he revealed with a broad grin that the now- Manchester United talisman and his young team-mates certainly gave him an education!

“I managed Zlatan, he was young and sometimes also difficult! Yeah, but okay it’s normal,” he explained.

“He was funny but sometimes difficult, because when I was at Ajax we had a lot of young players at that time – Schneider, Van der Vaart, De Jong, Heitinga, Mido, Zlatan.

Boss Koeman calls the shots at training — watched by Zlatan (far right) (Photo: Action Images)
More than a decade on, the Swede will face his old mentor on Wednesday night (Photo: PA)

“We had really big talents at that time, but all were 19, driving Porsches, driving Ferraris… eh?!

“New generation. I can tell you some stories!”

Koeman has already got together with Ibrahimovich several times since his move to Manchester last summer, and joked with the player about the headaches he induced in those exciting days in Amsterdam.

Yet the Blues’ manager freely admits his one-time tormentor also first gave notice of his world-class talent at Ajax, and that he not only became one of the greats but is still a true star.

“It was good. It was a nice period. It was good for me as a young coach at that time,” he said of his time as Ajax coach. “But they know. They know — if you ask him.

“I met Zlatan three or four times in the last four or five months. And if we speak about that time he knows – he knows perfectly how he was when he was 19 and how he is now.”

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