English football manager Paul Clement feels Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are special.
Clement has worked with some of world football’s biggest names including Ibrahimovic, Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, Gareth Bale, Robert Lewandowski, and Didier Drogba.
Talking about Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic, both of whom now play in Italy for Juventus and AC Milan respectively, Clement said: “Two special people and characters as players were Zlatan and Cristiano,” Clement said on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Euro Leagues podcast.
“Of course, everyone can see the special talents they are on the pitch but on a personal level they are also interesting, funny and confident.
“Zlatan does it very openly, speaks very confidently – and at times it is arrogance, but that is what he is. He used to be like that on a daily basis and would ask me questions such as: ‘What is Didier Drogba like?’ I would go into detail about what he is good at and Zlatan would be like, ‘He is not as good as me’ and would make you laugh.
“They were both very professional on and off the field. The way they looked after their bodies with recovery, knowledge of nutrition.
“At his house in Madrid, Cristiano had special recovery facilities that you would find at a club or a health spa. He had a cold plunge; he really invested in his profession and health.
“Those type of people go the extra mile.”
“I remember how strong Zlatan was with his team-mates (at PSG). I have never seen anyone demand so much from his team-mates,” said Clement, a former Derby, Swansea and Reading boss.
“Brazilian left-back Maxwell was an example of that – someone who he played with at Ajax, Inter, Barcelona and PSG. When Zlatan had a go at Maxwell about something in a game or in training, he would just tell him where to go.
“Some other players were like shrinking violets and I felt for them. They were shaking in their boots when Zlatan had a go at them.”