Nedum Onuoha has labelled Zlatan Ibrahimovic a “thug” and called on the Major League Soccer to punish the striker after the two players clashed during La Galaxy’s 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake on Sunday.
Ibrahimovic threw the former Manchester City man to the ground sparking an angry reaction from the defender and the confrontation continued into the dressing room after the match.
Following the altercation, Onuoha said he would refuse to accept an apology from the Swedish striker and now he has criticized Ibrahimovic’s aggressive behaviour on the pitch.
“He didn’t affect the way that I played, it just motivated me more really,” he told Love Sport Radio. “But after the 60th minute, he got booked and he started saying, ‘right that’s it then, keep watching that clock, I’m going to do you, just you wait.’
“These are words I’ve probably heard twice or three times in my entire career, usually by people who are complete thugs. It’s one thing to be competitive but it’s another thing to be threatening harm against another professional.”
Ibrahimovic is one of the biggest names in the league since joining from Manchester United last year and Onuoha believes that the authorities will not punish the striker due to his star status.
He added, “The sad thing about it is that based on who he is and the league that he’s playing in, nine out of 10 people will happily just go and shake his hand and say ‘no problem,’ even though from start to finish it’s been about him and the way he’s been.
“He’s not going to get anything done to him. It will get spun into a story about how he’s really competitive and this is what gets him going, this is why he’s one of the best of all-time. That’s just the way that it works. I’m not the type of person to say that the better MLS players get preferential treatment but from what I’ve seen so far, it’s a lot easier to be Zlatan than it is to be the striker for Real Salt Lake.”