Swedish professional footballer, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, has revealed why he attacked Cesar Azpilicueta during their last international match.
Naija News understands that the AC Millan striker gave a dangerous hit to the Chelsea captain during a World Cup qualifying match between Sweden and Spain on November 14.
The Swede landed a nasty shoulder tackle on the Spain defender, causing him to pause for a few minutes on the ground.
While there are assumptions that Zlatan’s tackle was a mistake, the 40-year-old Swedish international admitted that his barge on Azpilicueta was intentional.
According to him, the Blues’ defender was acting big. Naija News understands that Ibrahimovic had acted as if he had been pushed into Azpilicueta by another Spain player, with replays suggesting that the 32-year-old was not pushed.
Ibrahimovic, however, only received a yellow card for the incident and there was no further check by VAR.
Speaking on the incident in a post-match interview with the Guardian, Ibrahimovic said: “The other day in the national team, I gave a tackle to [Azpilicueta].
“I’m not ashamed to say it because he did something stupid to my player,” he told the Guardian.
“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 the 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. 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.
“It’s not about missing the playoffs. It’s about making the guy understand you don’t take the p**s out of somebody laying [on the ground],’ Ibrahimovic added.
“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,” the Swedish reiterated.