The pair butted heads, quite literally, in a Coppa Italia meeting between Inter and AC Milan earlier this season, while Lukaku‘s side have got the better of Ibrahimovic’s team in Serie A as the Nerazzurri won their first Scudetto for a decade.
Lukaku, however, has spoken respectfully of Ibrahimovic in an interview with Corriere della Sera, saying the Swede helps bring star power to Serie A.
“We need players of this level in Serie A. He wants to win for himself, me for Inter, [Cristiano] Ronaldo for Juve, now there is Mou [Jose Mourinho] at Roma: they are all good things for Italy. The level is raised, let’s hope Inter win again.”
Regarding the on-pitch fight with Ibrahimovic, Lukaku has admitted some regret over the incident, which saw the game stopped for several minutes after the Inter striker reacted angrily to a foul and remonstrated with the referee, leading the AC Milan forward to get involved.
Lukaku said: “We were losing 1-0, I missed a goal, I was a bit angry. His [Ibra’s] words struck me. I’m not happy with having reacted like this. I am humble and calm, I am a winner and I fight to the death for my team-mates and for the victory.”
The fiery Derby della Madonnina, which had added tension as a Coppa Italia quarter-final, was stopped for several minutes after Lukaku reacted angrily to a foul from Alessio Romagnoli, with Ibrahimovic squaring up to his former Manchester United team-mate.
As the teams went in for half-time, Lukaku was heard accusing Ibrahimovic of insulting his mother.
Ibrahimovic could reportedly be heard saying: “Go do your voodoo sh*t, you little donkey. Go do your voodoo sh*t. Call your mother!” Lukaku responded: “Well, let’s go inside, you b*tch. We will see.” Ibrahimovic apparently repeated his previous comment with Lukaku replying: “F*ck you and your wife, you little b*tch.”
Ibrahimovic had opened the scoring but was sent off for a second bookable offence early in the first half. Lukaku equalised from the penalty spot before Christian Eriksen won the game in the 97th minute with a free kick.