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Zlatan Ibrahimović

'You don’t f*cking do that!' - Ibrahimovic explains why he would barge Azpilicueta again

3:26 PM MYT 23/11/2021
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Cesar Azpilicueta Sweden Spain 2022 World Cup qualifier
The Swedish forward made no apologies for his incident with his Spanish opponent last week

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has said he purposely barged into Spain full-back Cesar Azpilicueta on international duty and explained why he would do it again.

The Sweden striker claims Azpilicueta made comments towards a team-mate, which in his eyes warranted a physical confrontation.

Azpilicueta stayed on the ground in apparent pain but avoided serious injury, while Ibrahimovic is now suspended for the first leg of his nation's upcoming World Cup play-off clash.

What happened betweeen Ibrahimovic and Azpilicueta?

Ibrahimovic slammed through the back of the Chelsea man during a set-piece situation on November 14, sending him tumbling to the turf.

What has been said?

"The other day in the national team, I gave a tackle to [Spain’s Azpilicueta]. I did it on purpose," Ibrahimovic admitted to The Guardian. "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 f*cking 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.

“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 play-offs. It’s about making the guy understand you don’t take the p*ss 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 team-mates who are 20 years old and very nice guys. I hope he understands now.”

Sweden's World Cup play-off status

After finishing as runners-up in their UEFA qualifying group, Sweden must navigate a route through the play-offs in order to reach Qatar.

Their opponent will be determined via a draw with an unseeded opponent.

Ibrahimovic will miss out after being shown a yellow card for his foul on Azpilicueta.

Further reading