Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes Tottenham are making Antonio Conte pay for “being himself”.
Conte is expected to be sacked in the coming days after Spurs squandered a two-goal lead in a 3-3 Premier League win at Southampton last weekend.
The Italian accused his players of being “selfish” and playing “without heart” in a draw that followed Tottenham’s quick exit from the FA Cup and Champions League.
But Ibrahimovic, who had never played under Conte before, defended the title-winning manager for speaking out publicly.
“Every person works in their own way. Someone is trying to be an actor, pretending. Someone remains himself, someone tries to be perfect, ”he told Sky Sports.
“I believe in being yourself, and sometimes you have to pay for it because that’s not what people want to hear.
“I prefer to be myself and express myself the way I think and the way I want to. We all work in our own way.”
past present future pic.twitter.com/Poxlr3M4i2
— Zlatan Ibrahimovic (@Ibra_official) March 21, 2023
Conte spent the past week in Italy and his future is likely to be decided no later than the middle of next week when Tottenham’s international players return to training.
Milan veteran Ibrahimovic is himself away from Sweden and was introduced as a second-half substitute in Friday’s 3-0 loss to Belgium in Euro 2024 qualifying.
At 41 years and five months old, Sweden’s oldest player, Ibrahimovic, has no plans to retire.
“I want to keep playing football,” said Ibrahimovic, who has played four times for Milan since returning from a long-term injury last month.
“If I feel good, that is my priority and I feel very good at Milan. If they want me to stay, then I’m happy. I am available.”