Zlatan Ibrahimovic has urged Jose Mourinho to “stand up for what he is doing”, saying they are both victims of “personal” criticism.
The former Manchester United striker helped Mourinho win the EFL Cup and the Europa League in their first season at Old Trafford in 2016-17, scoring 28 goals after signing on a free transfer.
But Mourinho has not won a trophy since, with Ibrahimovic having departed for LA Galaxy the following year after injury and the arrival of Romelu Lukaku.
“Everybody criticises Mourinho and I don’t think it’s because of the results, it’s because of the character, because of the way he is.
“I see myself also a little bit in that situation, we have our confidence, we believe in things, we say certain things. In our own way,” Ibrahimovic tells Sky Sports News.
Ibrahimovic says Mourinho, like him, refuses to become a media darling.
“Of course we get the blame, we get criticised more when it is not going good, but when it is going good and we win the satisfaction is bigger than the other ones that are political, think they’re perfect, and want to be no trouble for the media so the media never attacks them,” he added.
“That is not us, we are ourselves, we believe in what we do and we do it until the end.
“Some critics I feel personal, some critics are exaggerating, some because of the way he is, some because of jealousy. But all this is part of the circle.
“Mourinho just has to keep being himself, stand up for what he is doing, stand up for what he is.
“He is there because he did it his own way, because he is who he is and don’t change for anybody.
“I am exactly the same, I don’t change for anybody. Everyone out there who thinks they are perfect, they are the biggest problem out there.”