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Sebastian Lletget says it was “very difficult” to be Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s teammate

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Midfielder lets loose about former LA Galaxy player.

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MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy at Chicago Fire
Lletget and Zlatan in happier times.
Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports

Sebastian Lletget had an illuminating interview on another stellar episode of BSI: The Podcast last week.

The LA Galaxy midfielder was excellent on a wide-ranging interview with former/current players Benny Feilhaber, Sal Zizzo and Ike Opara, talking about his career, his ongoing relationship with singer Becky G, and more.

Among the choicest quotes in the interview was Lletget’s thoughts about former Galaxy teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and they were a doozy. The duo played together 2018-19, but after two years of keeping buttoned up, Lletget let loose about the Swedish forward.

“The way I like to explain it, if anybody ever asks, he’s actually a good guy, nice guy, if you’re not his teammate,” Lletget said. “Obviously if you’re on the field and you’re an opponent, yeah, he’s got that mentality, will do anything to win, awesome, right? I think that’s something I took out of him that I like that. It actually was contagious. But being his teammate, it was very difficult.”

After being asked if Zlatan had a penchant for being so hard on teammates, like Uriel Antuna, that he hampered their performance, Lletget agreed and said “You couldn’t be free.”

“It’s tough to play against him, and tougher to play with him,” he added.

Lletget didn’t actually say he or his teammates were bullied by Zlatan, but he strongly hinted that Ibrahimovic was at the very least well down that path. Lletget spoke extensively about Zlatan pushing him out of a defensive wall in a game against LAFC last year, a clip that went viral and really irked Lletget.

“You know what’s funny about that guy, man? That’s, for me, complete insanity to do that to one of your teammates, complete insanity.”

“You know on the video, obviously I play it super cool. And then I wake up the next day and I’m just like...’Dude, I don’t want to give this guy any more attention.’”

“It is one of those moments, I think it shows his true colors.”

Lletget went on to explain Ibrahimovic teased him about the shove, which didn’t go over well with the midfielder.

He also said he didn’t vote for “my teammate,” aka Zlatan, in the season awards.

“Who did I vote for for MVP? That’s a really good question, man. I didn’t vote for my teammate, I’ll just put it that way. I’m not going to say who I voted for, but my teammate was not one of them.”

Somewhat surprisingly, Lletget started Saturday’s game against the Vancouver Whitecaps on the bench, replaced by Joe Corona, who picked up two yellow cards and was ejected. Lletget replaced Aleksandar Katai in the 59th minute in the 1-0 loss. Was he benched as a tactical decision or did he get yanked for talking so candidly? He’ll most likely be a starter this week against Inter Miami due to Corona’s suspension, but I wouldn’t be shocked if the Galaxy weren’t happy with his comments, even if Zlatan’s reputation as a great player who was a total disruptor on and off the field is well known around the world at this point.

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