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Zlatan takes over Big Ben in pre-game tabloid war

15 Jun 2012, 11:06

Published: 15 Jun 2012 11:06 GMT+02:00

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The British tabloids were left licking their wounds on Friday morning, as a Swedish newspaper launched a tyranny of cheeky headlines predicting the Saturday morning fall-out from tonight’s crucial Euro 2012 match between Sweden and England.

A bold move by the Aftonbladet newspaper saw them publish a series of fictional front page fall-outs that they predict will be looming large in the English press on Saturday after a predicted 5-0 win for Sweden.

The Swedish jokers, feeling confident enough to throw the first punch across the North Sea, begun their crusade of mischief with a mockery of the Daily Mirror – picturing a despairing England goalkeeper Joe Hart on the front page of the Saturday morning English tabloid, accompanied by the headline, “Broken Hart.”

Click here to see more headline mock-ups in the Sweden-England tabloid wars

Not content with the riling of merely one tabloid giant, the Swedish team also put together pre-emptive front page headlines of the Daily Mail, Daily Star and The Sun, all of which bemoan a display of Swedish brilliance and an England performance that was “horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible”.

Clearly stung by the attack of banter – the English team at the Mirror soon responded with a front page mock-up of their own – picturing a disconsolate Zlatan Ibrahimovic underneath the headline “Zlatastrophe!” on the face of Aftonbladet.

In a more than ferocious defensive blow by the English, they also conjured stories of financial meltdown for Swedish company Ikea, and claimed that the members of Abba are actually Norwegian.

The tabloid war comes hours after another Swedish tabloid pulled off the most garish of stunts in London city centre.

The Expressen newspaper managed to project the image of Zlatan Ibrahimovic on to the face of Big Ben, with Sweden’s talisman accompanied by the patriotic slogan “Heja Sverige,” or “Go Sweden.”

Reporters from the newspaper beamed contentedly as they watched the reactions of outraged Brits and sniggering Swedes passing by the famous clock (see video below).

"I've never seen anything like it on Big Ben," London resident Mohammed Darmian told Expressen.

"That is really cool."

Story continues below…

The war of words will surely continue right up to the kick-off in tonight’s match in Kiev, with Sweden looking to get themselves back into tournament contention after a disappointing opening defeat to Ukraine.

Andy Carroll is thought to be in line for a start for England, as Roy Hodgson plots a route through a Swedish back-line that has been labelled as extremely shaky in the air.

Joe Lynskey

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Your comments about this article

12:10 June 15, 2012 by Greysuede
Zlatan kick their english @ss The fatherland is proud of you !
12:33 June 15, 2012 by euro_tix
Tickets to give:

4x SWEDEN - FRANCE (Kyiv), block 31

4x Quaterfinal in Kyiv, block 27, and

4x SEMIFINAL in Donetsk, block 325

1st category, face values!, collection Warsaw or shipping (auction?).

Check my FB profile (facebook.com/euro.ticketss) or:

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skype: mariusz.ang
12:52 June 15, 2012 by Birger Johansson
Hmm... technically, only the clock is named Big Ben. The clock tower is just a clock tower.
13:08 June 15, 2012 by Snood
Actually, to be even more nit picky, it's only the largest of the bells in the clock tower which is called Big Ben.
13:09 June 15, 2012 by kirub
5-0 is an interesting situation for Sweden.
13:22 June 15, 2012 by ltch65
The tower itself is St Stephens tower, perhaps soon to be Elizabeth Tower after Her Maj.

Personally I find this quite a refreshing change of banter between the two nations after what has been a tournament which has been dogged by racism; violence, politics and pretty naff football.

It was nice to hear the Irish and Spanish fans singing together after last nights Irish defeat by Spain. True sportsman by teh sounds of it....

So more of it I say. The football will speak for itself and the whoever wins tonight, well good luck to them..

(But c'mon England.......!!!!)
13:34 June 15, 2012 by occassional
Long live Saint George!!!
13:47 June 15, 2012 by heu
@Snood: Big Ben is actually the bell, not the clock.
13:56 June 15, 2012 by Kalyissa
Long Live the Three Lions!

Ill be there tonight in O'learys wearing my english shirt surrounded by a bunch of daft swedes in thiers!
14:28 June 15, 2012 by Snood
@ Heu...... Um.... that's what I said
01:30 June 16, 2012 by BillyB
"Reporters from the newspaper beamed contentedly as they watched the reactions of outraged Brits".....

1. Most people would not have had a clue who he was or what it was for..

2. Even if they new they would not have been "outraged" they would not have given a toss
01:54 June 16, 2012 by byke
I think its sad when newspapers can't think up their own ideas and use other peoples pranks.

See here, and you will see the sun did the same thing five days prior.

03:58 June 16, 2012 by daniel_br0wne
Firstly, I don't think anyone cared about Zlatans face on big ben, secondly if Sweden want a tabloid war, your picking on the wrong nation we will have your phones tapped in seconds and headlines out witted in no time and thirdly WE WON 3-2 jokes on you Sweden....... 2-1 and you messed it up, 2-1 and you messed it up. Have a safe trip home!!!
10:51 June 16, 2012 by foxxychick1978
i would like to England beat sweden at hocky but we know thats not gonna happan :D so glad us English won though :D COME ON ENGLAND COME ON ENGLAND :d
16:53 June 16, 2012 by Moosedog
I think that you will find that GB won the Olympic gold medal in ice hockey long before Sweden ever did
19:21 June 16, 2012 by Prestonrobsun
Time on Big Ben is 3 minutes to two.

Time to go home Zlatan.......

As my friends across the Irish Sea might say: 'Pogue na ha. (apologies for the spelling).
19:30 June 16, 2012 by towns
@ Prestonrobsun

The Pogues?? Great band!
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