On Monday, Sweden tied Austria 1-1 in an Euro 2016 qualifier. But the game was filled with much Zlatan-inspired drama, and despite not scoring a goal, he definitely grabbed most of the headlines following the game. He was well marked by the Austrian defense for much of the game and stayed low-key in his 100th game for Sweden. He never truly came close to scoring and was also booked in the first half for a challenge on Martin Harnik.
But of course, that can’t be all the drama that happens in a game where Zlatan is involved! Two minutes before being booked for a Martin Harnik challenge, he controversially escaped from a clash with David Alaba in which it appeared that he elbowed Alaba during the play. After the game Austrian players were quoted to have said that the referee was “too scared” to send off THE Zlatan Ibrahimovic. However, Zlatan played the incident off by saying that the ref had it under control and that he was only shielding the ball from Alaba. He thought that the incident could easily be explained because Alaba is shorter than him so it was an incidental collision. Ibrahimovic also joked that “he should be banned for forty games” because of his alleged elbow on the Austrian defender.
However, the highlight of the night had to go to the man himself, for staring down Rubin Okotie as the Austrian player attempted to get a little physical prior to defending a corner. Austria’s number 9 decided to man mark Zlatan (first wrong move) and then gave a light shove to the striker… Zlatan was not impressed. The Swedish striker obviously had a problem with being touched, and stood with his hands on his hips giving the Austrian player a stare that was utterly brilliant. The clip speaks for itself, and I’ll let you judge Zlatan’s reaction for yourself. This stare alone has raised the Mercurial Vapor X’s legend status infinitely for me.
What are your thoughts on Zlatan’s performance? Should he have been sent off and how about that stare? Let us know in the comments below!