Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic sees himself in tennis star Novak Djokovic, says anger brings out the best in them

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he sees himself in Novak Djokovic and thinks anger brings out the best of both.

Ibrahimovic, who turned 40 this week, has often shown a cranky side on the pitch, while Djokovic’s frustration has also spilled over onto the pitch at times.

Djokovic has previously described Ibrahimovic as a “great friend, an incredible warrior, a phenomenal champion”, and was pictured during an AC Milan game and wearing a club jersey.

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The couple both draw their heritage from the Balkans, with Djokovic born in Serbia and Ibrahimovic born in Sweden to a Bosnian father and a Croatian mother.

“First of all, he’s a Balkan head: when you explode you do well, when you get angry you do your best,” Ibrahimovic told the club’s AC Milan website of Djokovic.

You are more focused, more careful. When Nole plays and gets angry he does his best, and that’s how I feel alive.

“He’s a complete athlete. The head, with little experience, is not there. With experience, the mood grows. Nole is like me.”

Djokovic has not played since missing the Calendar Slam at the US Open last month and may not return to the field this year.

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Reflecting on Djokovic’s near-accident in New York, Ibrahimovic said Sports week: “The crisis in New York? It is never easy to digest such a disappointment.

“Nole played really well and won all year. Then at the last stage he missed something. It happens, it happens.

“But what Nole did is unbelievable, unbelievable, and he must think so. I haven’t seen others do the same: he came close, like no one else. [else], but it’s true that others are strong too, not just him. “

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