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FOOTBALL

Zlatan’s boasting draws fire from former Inter teammate

Comments by Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic suggesting he was responsible for the success of Inter Milan have prompted a backlash from former teammate Marco Materazzi.

Zlatan's boasting draws fire from former Inter teammate
A confident Zlatan celebrates a goal scored for Inter in October 2008

Earlier this week the big Sweden forward claimed Inter had won nothing for 17 years before he joined the club but with him they won three straight scudetto crowns, a statement which irked Materazzi.

Ibrahimovic moved to Barcelona from Inter during the summer and his quotes will surely stir things up ahead of the Champions League clash between his current and former employers at the San Siro on Wednesday.

“Thanks for the three titles Ibra and we’ll see you on Wednesday,” said Materazzi ominously from the Homeless World Cup in Milan, which he attended on Thursday.

Ibrahimovic’s statement was made when asked what kind of welcome he was expecting from the Inter faithful.

“I don’t know what kind of welcome awaits me but I know that the true fans know what I did for Inter,” he said.

“And they know that before I arrived they hadn’t won for 17 years and then they won three titles, and I was there three years.”

Inter were actually also awarded the title by default in 2006 — meaning they have won four in a row — after Juventus and AC Milan were handed point deductions for match-fixing.

Ibrahimovic was at Juve then but as the Old Lady of Turin were relegated for their role in the scandal, he jumped ship and joined Inter, where he then went on to win three titles in three years.

Speaking about Ibra’s likely reception, Materazzi had some advice for the fans.

“The thing that can hurt a person the most is indifference. He helped us win three titles but we were a team,” he said.

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FOOTBALL

Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match

Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, a day ahead of the country's Nations League match with Sweden, the Croatian football federation (HNS) said.

Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match
Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic (left) tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. Photo: Miguel Medina / AFP
“Brozovic's Inter Milan and Swedish epidemiologists were informed about the positive test,” an HNS statement said.
   
The player's positive result came two days after defender Domagoj Vida was informed of a positive Covid-19 test after playing the first half of a friendly with Turkey in Istanbul.
   
Apart from Brozovic, 27, one staff member also tested positive.
   
They were both isolated from other members of the national team.
   
After Sweden, Croatia play another Nations League game against Portugal on Tuesday.
   
Croatia, runners-up at the 2018 World Cup, are third in their Nations League group which also includes France, the team that beat them to the World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and Sweden.
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