“You don’t have balls to do it against me…”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic recently made headlines for all the wrong reasons, as he barged into the back of Cesar Azpilicueta during a World Cup qualifier.
The Sweden striker completely lunged at Azpilicueta, seemingly knowing exactly what he was doing, and the damage he could have caused as a result.
Somehow, he managed to escape a red card, and was only booked, meaning he will miss Sweden’s World Cup playoff qualifier.
Zlatan got a yellow card for this shoulder charge on Azpilicueta 😳 pic.twitter.com/64ipgvvm4X
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 15, 2021
In a recent interview, he explained that it was 100% intentional, and he elaborated on why he felt it needed to be done.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Cesar Azpilicueta challenge
He said: “The other day in the national team, I gave a tackle to [Azpilicueta]. I did it on purpose. I’m not ashamed to say it because he did something stupid to my player.
“Acting big to my player. It was a stupid thing but I would still do it to make him understand: ‘You don’t fucking do that. You don’t have balls to do it against me. But I will show you what happens if you do it to me.’ That’s why I did it.”
When asked if Azpilicueta said anything to him after the game, Ibrahimovic said: “What can he say? He will not say it to me but he will say it to my player – who will do nothing because he’s too nice. It was not a good thing by me, but I would still do it. That’s me. I’m not ashamed to say it.”
He continued: “It’s about making the guy understand you don’t take the piss out of somebody laying [on the ground]. You don’t attack a dog that doesn’t talk. Attack the one able to do something. It’s too easy to pick on my teammates who are 20 years old and very nice guys. I hope he understands now.”