Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku’s fiesta rivalry started back at Manchester United.
The pair, who spent nine months together at Old Trafford, clashed when they faced each other in the Milan derby.
With the Belgian in Inter Milan’s stripes and Ibra on AC Milan’s side in the Coppa Italia quarter-final, the pair came together just before half time in a war of words.
But the Swedish icon’s pervious comments show that their rivalry began three years ago.
In an interview with Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport, Ibrahimovic said in 2019: “I will say this on Romelu – don’t expect good technique from Lukaku.
"His best strength is sheer power. If only he’d listened to me.
"At Manchester United, we made a bet: “l’ll give you £50 for every decent first touch you make.'
"He replied: 'What do I win if I get them all right?'
"I told him nothing, he would simply become a better player.
"For the record, he never accepted the bet! Perhaps he was afraid of losing.”
This was a reference to criticism of Lukaku over his control, which was noted by United fans on several occasions.
Despite scoring 42 goals in 96 games for the Red Devils, he made a £75m move to Inter for being surplus to requirement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Following the 27-year-old’s transfer, Ibrahimovic – then at LA Galaxy after his own departure in 2018 – added: “Joking aside, Lukaku has this mad hunger to prove himself to the world and I’m sure he will do well at Inter too."
But there was no exchange of pleasantries at the San Siro, with cameras catching their taunts in the empty stadium.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic 'shaves head' and leaves fans gobsmacked with Instagram photo
Lukaku and Ibrahimovic came face-to-face, with the latter appearing to throw his head towards the Inter forward.
And the 27-year-old had to be held back from his former team-mate by coaches as the scuffle continued after the half-time whistle.
Lukaku could be heard blasting: “He wants to talk about mothers? Son of a b****.”
The ex-Everton star could also be heard adding: “F*** you and your wife, you b****.”
Earlier on when the row first began, Ibrahimovic had told Lukaku: "Go do your vodoo s***, you little donkey".
Both players were yellow-carded for the scrap.
The 39-year-old had opened the scoring but a tackle on Aleksandar Kolarov ended his evening on 64 minutes.
When Nicolo Barella won a penalty on 70 minutes, it was Lukaku who smashed it into the net for the equaliser.
And Inter outcast Christian Eriksen snatched the win in stoppage time, sending Antonio Conte’s side to the semi-finals.
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