Zlatan Ibrahimovic has explained the reason behind his dangerous shoulder charge on Cesar Azpilicueta in Sweden’s 1-0 loss to Spain in a World Cup qualifier tie played last week.
The incident happened when both players where jostling for position during a set play, the Swedish striker dangerously barged on the Spanish defender.
After a review only a yellow card was given to the Milan striker while the Chelsea defender was left in pains and the former Barcelona striker has revealed the reason behind his action.
“The other day in the national team, I gave a tackle to [Spain’s Azpilicueta]. I did it on purpose,” said Ibra to Guardian.
“I’m not ashamed to say it. Here’s why, 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.”
“When quizzed if Azpilicueta say something after the match, he 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. 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.”
The former PSG striker also talked on the disagreement he had with LeBron James.
“Sport unites people. Politics divide people. If we talk about racism, it’s something else. That’s something I don’t agree with. But I don’t do politics. If I did, I would be a president now. I don’t know Lebron James personally. I don’t judge him. Whatever he does with racists, he is right, because when 50,000 call you a f*cking gypsy, it’s the same. That is [also] racism. But I don’t do politics. I do sport. That’s the way you spread love.”