Zlatan Ibrahimovic was fantastic – and completely and utterly unforgiving.

How to remember Mario Balotelli in any case, his first meeting with the Swedish giant, as he himself was only an infant teen. However, it did not the famous teammate back.

“I was 16 years old and had just started to work out with Inters first team,” recalls Mario Balotelli in a snakkesession with the former Italian landsholdsstjerne Fabio Cannavaro on Instagram:

“I only had an eye for Zlatan, even though there were also players like Adriano and Julio Cruz on the team. Zlatan came up to me and said: ‘do you Think that you are one of us? They let you train with us today, but then you are gone again’.”

It went very well for Mario Balotelli, who has since got himself a very honorable career, but perhaps as much known for his sometimes controversial behavior.

And here had Zlatan Ibrahimovic actually a little finger in the game, although the swede initially had been the tough attitude forward.

“Zlatan always said that I was too weak,” says Mario Balotelli:

“But after a while, it was him who tipped Mino Raiola (the infamous agent, red.) that there was a player who was even stronger than him even.”

For the young Italian striker on the way forward, however, there was then no doubt that the Swedish team-mate was one of the greats,

“Zlatan was a player I looked up to as he was God. He was pretty impressive,” remembers Mario Balotelli.

Mario Balotelli has today, 29 years old, and he plays in the Serie A club Brescia.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is 38 years old, and he also plays in Italy, at AC Milan, although it appears, according to the water pipes seems that the relationship is over, when the corona-interrupted season in one way or another ends. Currently he trains with at Hammarby at home in Sweden.