sport news A fight to be crowned King of Milan drove Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic ...

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's bitter feud with Romelu Lukaku was about more than a stray elbow on the Inter striker on Tuesday night. This all goes back to one thing: who wears the crown in Milan?

Back in February 2020, Inter fought back from 2-0 down to claim bragging rights in the derby with a 4-2 win. It was a statement victory for Inter but Lukaku had more to say.

Lukaku sealed the win in the 93rd minute and later declared: 'There's a new king in town'. 

It was, without question, a dig at his former team-mate. Tongue in cheek in one sense but a warning shot also; Lukaku believes he's a better player and that was never going to sit well with an alpha-male personality like Ibrahimovic. 

Romelu Lukaku (left) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic bumped heads during a heated exchange

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Romelu Lukaku (left) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic bumped heads during a heated exchange

After winning the Milan derby 4-2 in February 2020, Lukaku called himself the 'King' of Milan

After winning the Milan derby 4-2 in February 2020, Lukaku called himself the 'King' of Milan

Ibrahimovic got revenge in October 2020 and said 'Milan never had a king, they have a GOD'

Ibrahimovic got revenge in October 2020 and said 'Milan never had a king, they have a GOD'

Returning to AC Milan after a spell in the United States, Ibrahimovic likened it to the 'return of the king'. In his mind the best No 9 in the world was back in . Lukaku's post-February derby jibe only poured fuel onto their rivalry. It was very much on. 

Ibrahimovic waited patiently to exact his revenge, waited until the next Derby della Madonnina, in October 2020. It was calculated. When they went head-to-head again it would be different - and so it proved.   

Lukaku scored, again, but so did Ibrahimovic, twice, in a 2-1 win for AC Milan. While they did not clash on the pitch that night, the 39-year-old was to offer up a not-so-subtle slapdown on social media. 

'Milan never had a king, they have a God,' he wrote on Instagram. This fight for No 1 status in the Italian city was simmering close to boiling point.

Ibrahimovic could be heard yelling at Lukaku 'Go do your voodoo s***, you little donkey'

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Ibrahimovic could be heard yelling at Lukaku 'Go do your voodoo s***, you little donkey'

They were an awkward fit together at Manchester United and a jealousy has brewed ever since

They were an awkward fit together at and a jealousy has brewed ever since

Ibrahimovic enjoys provocation and continually baited Lukaku on Tuesday night in the two sides' Coppa Italia quarter-final.

Every corner and set-piece, Ibrahimovic was seen talking in the ear of Lukaku to the point where the Belgian eventually lost his cool. Once he did so, Ibrahimovic could barely contain his joy that a rivalry years in the making was about to be on full public display.

Lukaku and Ibrahimovic were involved in a verbal joust before they bumped heads having not seen eye-to-eye, which resulted in both being booked by referee Paolo Valeri.

As both were booked and pulled apart, Ibrahimovic can be heard yelling at Lukaku 'Go do your voodoo s***, you little donkey.'

It is believed that Ibrahimovic's 'voodoo' remark was in relation to Farhad Moshiri's extraordinary claim in January 2018 that Lukaku decided to

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