What Jose Mourinho Did After Marcos Rojo Called Zlatan Ibrahimovic ‘Big Nose’

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho with David De Gea and Marcos Rojo at the end of the match.

Reuters / Carl Recine

Marcos Rojo has revealed how heated things got between him and Zlatan Ibrahimovic after insulting his appearance.

The Swede is known for his expressive and sometimes aggressive personality. Ibrahimovic isn’t one to shy away from a scrap and defend himself, neither is he short on self-confidence.

Which is exactly what led to the former Paris Saint-Germain star grabbing his teammate Rojo by the neck one day following just a minor argument during their time together at Manchester United.

Narrating the incident to InfobaeRojo explains how when he was functioning as a centre-back he chose not to pass the ball to the striker during the game despite space being open and instead elected to pass it to Paul Pogba who “began to showboat”, much to the annoyance of Ibrahimovic.

Now it’s common for teammates to be upset with each other due to certain in-game decisions. But this is exactly where the trouble started as Rojo states what he said to the Swede:

“I follow it. ‘Shut up, big nose. You want all the balls’. Arguing loudly. We finish the first half and go to the locker room. I’m in my place, taking off my boots. And he [Ibrahimovic] enters angrily, he kicks something. He stops, looks at me and yells at me: ‘What did you say to me?’

“So I also stop and say – ‘What did you say to me?’ – Although inside I was hoping someone would separate us, because he could have killed me. And the English, all big, separate us. Mourinho enters screaming, scrambling bottles. A mess in the locker room. Then it’s done, we win and go to the next round.”

It was certainly fortunate for the defender that former boss Jose Mourinho and the rest of the squad members intervened just in time.

Zlatan is a proud player who doesn’t let himself be stopped from getting his thoughts across, which is why he followed the incident up with the Argentine the next day, but this time in a much more humourously threatening way, as Rojo completes the recollection:

“The next day, early, I was having breakfast. I felt grabbed at the back of the neck, and I couldn’t turn. And he says – ‘What did you say to me?’ – and he started laughing. Anyway, thank goodness the karate move was a joke: I was already done, I’d never get out of it.”

Stories like this are common when one spends a lot of time around the 38-year-old, which is exactly what makes him so popular.