Zlatan makes comeback after ‘France is sh*t’ ban

Sweden's controversial star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic sparked Paris Saint Germain's 2-0 win at Nantes in Ligue 1 on Sunday, on his return to the football pitch after a three-match ban for a foul-mouthed rant in which he blasted his host country as "shit".

Zlatan makes comeback after 'France is sh*t' ban
Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Photo: AP Photo/Christophe Ena

The Swede had a hand in both goals, notably playing the ball between Nantes' captain Oswaldo Vizcarrondo's legs to set up Blaise Matuidi's clincher on the half-hour.

Edison Cavani had pounced as early as the third minute after Ibrahimovic had sparked a goalmouth scramble with a snap shot.

And Vizcarrondo was left red-faced when Sweden's best striker in history produced the cheeky pass through his legs before he turned in a panic to see Matuidi race through and clip a slick finish round the onrushing Remy Riou in the Nantes goal.

The 33-year-old Swede was playing his first game since starting a three-match ban for a foul-mouthed rant at a referee in which he blasted France as a “shit country”. He was later suspended for four matches, subsequently reduced to three.

The row began when Ibrahimovic took exception to some of the decisions made by referee Lionel Jaffredo in a game against Bordeaux in March and cut a furious figure at the final whistle when he stormed down the tunnel.

"In 15 years, I have never seen such a referee. In this shit country, this country does not deserve PSG," the striker blasted in English at the final whistle.

"PSG shouldn't be in this country. We are too good for this country," he added.

The player later apologized for his outburst in a statement released after the game, saying: “My words were not targeting France or the French people. I was speaking about football and nothing else.”

“I was speaking when I was annoyed and everyone knows that at these moments you can speak without thinking,” he added.

READ ALSO: What could Zlatan have against France?

Sunday's 2-0 win puts PSG on 74 points at the top with Lyon three poins behind with three games to play.

Having already won the League Cup, and with a French Cup final to come against Auxerre on May 30th, the team are on track for a domestic clean sweep.

“We came for three points and that's what we're going home with. So congratulations to my players,” said PSG coach Laurent Blanc.

“I don't know if we'll end up champions but over the last five or six games we've been tough to play against.”

“It's all about concentration and determination to win the ball back. In matches where we were losing the ball, you saw players start to get at each other,” he explained.

It was PSG's sixth straight league win and their remaining fixtures appear eminently winnable – they must visit Montpellier and welcome Guingamp and Reims to the Parc des Princes, where they are unbeaten domestically in a year.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Zlatan has been ‘cured’ of coronavirus: AC Milan

AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been given the all-clear to end his quarantine period and return to action after testing negative for coronavirus, the Serie A club announced on Friday.

Zlatan has been 'cured' of coronavirus: AC Milan
Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring a goal in September. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP
Milan confirmed in a statement that the Swedish striker had “tested negative” twice in a row, as stipulated in the protocol to be able to lift the quarantine procedure.
Ibrahimovic, 39, sounded a more triumphal note on his social media: “You are cured! The health authority says the quarantine is over, you can go out!”, he wrote on Twitter.

The announcement comes a day after Milan said Ibrahimovic had tested positive a second time for Covid-19, putting in doubt his participation in the Milan derby on October 17.
Ibrahimovic first tested positive on September 24.
The derby remains in doubt with two other Milan players and five from Inter currently in self-quarantine.
In spite of his absence, Milan have made a decent start to the season, having climbed to second in Serie A after winning all three of their games and reaching the group stages of the Europa League.