AC Milan Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has lifted the lid on the reason why he exchanged shirts with Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate after their Champions League group B encounter.

AC Milan had lost 2-1 to a star-depleted Liverpool side which sent them packing from the UEFA Champions League at the early stages. After the game, Ibra waked up to Konate and exchanged jerseys with the French U-21 player.

This set the media mill whirring for a while as Ibra is a player known to many as egotistical, and to exchange shirts with a footballer, then it’s the footballer who wants it and not vice versa. But alas it’s the 40-year old who wanted the shirt of the young defender!

Ibra with Konate’s shirt after the game

The Frenchman was a Colossus and thwarted every threat from the former Inter Milan, PSG, Manchester United, Barcelona, Ajax (and many others) man who said Konate impressed him alot and ‘won all the fights with [him] on the ground and in the air’.

Konate winning duels against Ibra

“I asked to exchange shirts with Liverpool defender Konate, he won all the fights with me on the ground and in the air, I told him that he will be a great defender in the future and that he remembers my words well.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic on exchanging jersey with Ibrahima Konate

Having joined Liverpool from RB Leipzig as the Reds’ only summer signing, Konate has been on rotation at the heart of Liverpool’s defence having paired the likes of Virjil Van Dijk, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and lately Nat Phillips.

The youngster has been touted by many to be a star in the future starting from his manager Jurgen Klopp and now Zlatan Ibrahimovic has joined that School of thought.