When a teenage Zlatan failed a trial at QPR, for telling coach to ‘f*ck off’

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Despite being one of the modern greats of the game, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has long established himself as one of the biggest personalities in football as well.

He is one of the true characters of the game having built an entire identity around his supreme confidence in his own ability.

Some like to call it ‘arrogance’, some believe you have to have a little self-belief to reach the highest level.

One particular story from his youth proves that Zlatan’s monster ego could very nearly have scuppered his career entirely before it ever got going.

The trial at QPR

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Tony Flygare, a former youth teammate of Zlatan’s spoke of the time he and the Swedish legend failed a trial at London’s Queen’s Park Rangers as teenagers.

The two players were sent on trial at QPR in 1998 during Gerry Francis’ second spell as manager and in the Championship at the time.

Flygare told the story of their trial in his book “Once, I Was Bigger Than Zlatan” and gave a summary of events to the Daily Mail.

“Zlatan was holding on to the ball for too long and the trainer tackled him when he wasn’t expecting it.

“For that, Zlatan tackled him back and then told the trainer to ‘**** off’. He went mad at Zlatan.

“Being in England was so much different. He just told Zlatan: ‘for that, you’re going to breathe through your a***’. I’ll never forget it. We didn’t hear from QPR again.

“Zlatan didn’t want to play or stay in England, that is my opinion.”

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