Former Nigeria international Peter Ijeh has revealed how he nureed up good relationship with Sweden legend, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and the superstar duly recognised him in his popular book, Completesports.com reports.
Ijeh who played for Nitel United FC and Julius Berger FC in the Nigerian domestic league before heading for Sweden, revealed that he once mentored Ibrahimovic in the game of football while the Swede’s was growing up.
Ijeh played alongside Ibrahimovic at Malmo FF in Sweden – a team he joined after emerging as the highest goal scorer in the Nigerian league with Julius Berger of Lagos in the 1999/2000 season.
“Zlatan was 16 years old when I started putting him through on the various ways of achieving the ultimate in the game,” Ijeh disclosed while fielding questions as an interviewee on FCT Football Updates.
“Then, he [Ibrahimovic] always said he wanna be like me, play like me. I mentored him.
“That’s why he wrote about me in his book “I’m Zlatan”.
“He is a great guy, and a humble person,” Ijeh said.
Ibrahimovic, now 39, currently plays for erie A side, AC Milan. Obviously in the very twilight of his career, the big Swede who prides himself as ‘The Lion’is one of the most awarded players in world football today with 31 trophies won across different top European leagues and clubs, such as; Ajax, Juventus, Barcelona, AC Milan, PSG and Manchester United. He has so far netted over 500 goals for both Sweden and his clubs.
Ijeh, 44, now lives in Gotenburg, Sweden, with his family after playing his last club football for the city’s club, GAIS, in 2012. But it was at Malmo FF that he earlier made waves in the country, emerging as the Allsvenskan (top league) highest scorer with 24 goals in 2002 – the same year he was invited to the Super Eagles, and went on to play five times for Nigeria.
He also played for IFK Gotenburg, another big Swedish side he joined as a high profile signing in 2003.
Ijeh also played in Denmark for FC Copenhagen, in Norway for Viking FK before returning to Sweden to play for Stockholm-based side, Syrianska FC, and GAIS, in Gotenburg.
He studied at Gothenburg University, the Swedish Football Federation (SvFF) coaching school from where he bagged
an UEFA A licence. He has worked at Division 2 Västra Götaland (Swedish fourth tier league side, Assyriska BK, as head coach.