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Paul Pogba 'more free' and 'happy' now that Jose Mourinho has gone - Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic opens up to ESPN FC about Paul Pogba's revitalization since Jose Mourinho's departure and likens it to his disagreements with Pep Guardiola at Barcelona.
In typical Zlatan Ibrahimovic fashion, he tells ESPN FC that his LA Galaxy will be successful in 2019 and discusses his 500th career goal.

Former Man United and current LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has given his two cents on the recent Paul Pogba-Jose Mourinho feud at Old Trafford.

"There are these players that need to be free, they need to feel free to do what they are able to do under the disciple of the coach," the Swede told ESPN FC at MLS' annual MLS Media Days. "Obviously, he has his tactics, he has that, but some players they go above these limits, and you need to let them be free, and I think Paul [Pogba] is one of them."

Ibrahimovic didn't take a side in the argument between his former teammate and former manager but acknowledged that both parties were no longer right for each other.

"Paul didn't feel confidence from the coach, and the coach didn't feel confidence for Paul. It's difficult to perform as a player if you don't have confidence from the coach and you don't have that energy, that motivation, and Jose felt the same thing about Paul.

"These things happen, and that is part of the game also; I mean, not everybody can go among each other and do well together,"  added Ibrahimovic.

"I feel like you come to a moment where it is too blocked and one goes or the other one goes. At this moment, the coach left, and Paul is more free now."

Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic won three trophies together at Manchester United between 2016-17.
Paul Pogba, left, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, right, won three trophies together at Manchester United between 2016-17.

Pogba has thrived since the departure of Mourinho and the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the French World Cup winner having scored five goals and provided four assists in six games under the Norwegian.

Zlatan said of Pogba's revival: "We are seeing [a] more happy Paul, more free Paul, more 'do whatever you want to do,' and he is succeeding with things now.

"It's like new energy, new blood came in, and now he is playing like he knows how to play. And we know who Pogba is, and this is the Pogba we are seeing.

"When you play, happiness is very important, because when you feel stuck in a situation, you don't express yourself 100 percent and play 100 percent."

Ibrahimovic, who won the 2018 MLS Newcomer of the Year award after scoring 22 goals in 27 games after arriving to MLS in March, recently re-upped with the Galaxy for the 2019 season. Zlatan and the rest of the Galaxy open up training camp at the end of January and will begin the regular season on March 2 against the Chicago Fire.

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