Zlatan reveals why he deliberately tackled Azpi during international break

Zlatan reveals why he deliberately tackled Azpi during international break

Just over a week ago, Zlatan Ibrahimovic clattered Cesar Azpilicueta with a brutal challenge towards the end of Spain’s 1-0 win over Sweden in their final FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifier.

The Chelsea defender was man-marking Zlatan during a set-piece and the AC Milan forward expressed his feelings about it in quite an unfriendly manner.

He barged down Azpilicueta with a forceful shoulder tackle to the defender’s back.

After that, he acted as if he bumped into him by mistake in an attempt to fool the referee into not booking him.

Zlatan revealed the reason for his tackle (via The Guardian): "The other day in the national team, I gave a tackle to [Spain’s 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 f****** 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."

The Swedish striker will now miss Sweden’s first play-off match in March. However, he has no regrets over that as he added: "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 teammates 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%."

Zlatan doesn't reveal exactly what Azpi said or did to his Sweden teammate and the Chelsea captain hasn't come out to respond to this yet.

Source: The Guardian
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