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Zlatan Ibrahimovic slams Cesar Azpilicueta after barging him to the ground in Spain v Sweden World Cup qualifier


Zlatan Ibrahimovic has slammed Cesar Azpilicueta after barging him to the ground in Sweden’s World Cup qualifier against Spain and says he would do it again if he felt he needed to.

The 40-year-old sent social media into a frenzy when he clattered into the back of the Chelsea defender at a set-piece. Ibrahimovic was booked in the 1-0 defeat which means he will miss his nation’s first World Cup play-off match.

Azpilicueta took to Twitter after the incident and posted a picture with the caption “all good over here”.

Ibrahimovic says he was simply defending a team-mate and that Azpilicueta would not have the courage to confront him if they were to meet again.

“The other day in the national team, I gave a tackle to [Spain’s Azpilicueta],” he told The Guardian.

“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 ******* 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 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 team-mates who are 20 years old and very nice guys. I hope he understands now. I did a stupid thing. [But] I will do it again. 100%.”

Ibrahimovic scored twice and set up an assist in AC Milan’s 4-3 defeat to Fiorentina in Serie A on Saturday and now has 120 caps for Sweden.

He says he is still motivated to carry on performing at the highest level of men’s football.

The Swede added: “This morning I had pain everywhere but as long as I have objectives, as long as I have adrenaline, I keep going. I know I’m coming to something good. I’m coming to somewhere I need to work to keep myself at the top.

“I will keep doing it as long as I can. I don’t want to have that regret if I stop and then, in a couple of years, I’m sitting with you and saying: ‘I could have continued because I was feeling good.’

“It’s better to be totally finished and say: ‘I cannot do it any more.’ But I can still do it and I am doing it.”



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