On-loan Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo has revealed that he almost came to blows with then-teammate Zlatan Ibrahimović, only for José Mourinho to step in and act as peacemaker.
The Portuguese Champions League winner, now managing Tottenham, was in charge for two-and-a-half years at Old Trafford, before he was unceremoniously axed in favour of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in December 2018.
Mourinho lifted three trophies during his time at the club, including the Europa League, but it seems he had to play parent on occasion, rather than concentrating on the managerial job in hand.
That's because Rojo - who is now on loan at Estudiantes LP in his native Argentina - has revealed in an in an interview with Cielo Sports (via the Mirror) how he fell out with Ibrahimovic in training, despite prior warning from Mourinho to tone down their intensity on the training pitch, as he feared they may suffer injuries as a result.
“Zlatan has a strong character, Ezequiel Lavezzi had warned me,” Rojo began. “I knew he wanted us to give him all the balls, but during a game phase I saw him ask for it and I didn't give it to him. I passed it to Paul Pogba.
"Then [Ibrahimović] started yelling at me, raising his hand, and telling me a lot of things in Spanish and English.
"I said to him: 'what's going on with you big nose? Shut up...' I knew that if he caught me, he would kill me so the only thing for me to do was face him."
Rojo continued by detailing how tensions boiled over into the changing rooms, ultimately requiring Mourinho to intervene and put an end to things.
"When he entered the locker room, I directly told him to close his mouth and stop yelling," Rojo continued. "We started to insult each other and all our teammates were watching us.
"And in the middle, José Mourinho was trying to calm us down."
Rojo concluded by revealing that prior to returning home to Argentina, he told his mother first about the impending move, imploring her to keep the news to herself. But, instead, 'she told everyone' before the move had been concluded, which it eventually was.
Ibrahimović, meanwhile, spent the January transfer window successfully forcing a move back to former club AC Milan, meaning the two are unlikely to cross paths again anytime soon.