Zlatan Ibrahimovic calls Faroe Islands players “a bunch of fisherman” (Video)


Don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough Zlatan Ibrahimovic in my life.

There are plenty of fantastic characters in world football – Mario Balotelli, Rino Gattuso, Craig Bellamy, Dimitar Berbetov – but for me, there is no more entertaining than Zlatan.

Want a million dollar idea? Create a reality show that simply follows Zlatan around all day long. Boom. You’re welcome.

On Tuesday’s 2-0 victory over the Faroe Islands, Ibra was up to his old tricks once again. Sure, he scored both of Sweden’s goals but he made sure to have some fun while doing so.

Throughout the match the PSG striker trash-talked and embarrassed the Faroe Island players, calling them “a bunch of fisherman” and taunting them with how much money he earned.

The response of Faroe striker Simun Samuelsen?

“Yes, we fish. It’s part of our culture. So what?”

Samuelsen went on to explain his confusion over Zlatan’s belittlement. “Zlatan is such a good player, we don’t understand why he is in such a bad mood,” the HB Torshavn forward told Marca. “We play hard and honest, but we do not try to humiliate anybody like this.”

Well, apparently Zlatan was in such a bad mood because he thought the Faroe players were being a bunch of “cry babies.” In his post match interview with the Swedish media, Ibra explained that never in his life had he been matched against a group of players who “moaned so much”.

Meanwhile, Samuelsen was still trying to put the pieces together on what happened.

“We are a small country and it is strange that he wants to put us down even more,” Samuelsen said. “Ibra tells us we are fishermen and yes we are, it is a part of our culture. . . . I can’t understand why he behaves like that to us. We finish work at four and then go training in the evening.”

So what was Zlatan’s ultimate solution to all the moaning?

How about a no-look pass of the ball directly to the face of Faroes keeper Gunnar Nielsen (video below)?

Heck, why not even do it directly in front of the ref?

Because in the book of Zlatan, that’s never a yellow card. “Absolutely not,” Ibra said. “The goalie talked some sh*t, so of course I’m throwing the ball at him.”

Don’t ever change, big man.

Agent: “There’s no hatred” between Bale, Ronaldo

Gareth Bale & Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid CF
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Gareth Bale doesn’t at all dislike Cristiano Ronaldo — or vice versa — despite what may seem a lukewarm on-field relationship between the two Real Madrid superstars, insists Jonathan Barnett, agent of Bale.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Instead, Barnett insists that the two men with very different personalities have a healthy relationship, and competition, that pushes each Galactico to be the best player he can be.

Barnett, on Bale’s relationship with Ronaldo — quotes from the Guardian:

“They don’t go out eating every night together, but it’s fine. There’s no hatred there. Gareth is a quiet guy. They’re complete opposites. But I think Gareth can learn a little bit from Ronaldo as well, interacting maybe a little bit. But he wants his own life and he lives it. Gareth is a great footballer, he doesn’t want anything more. He has some very good endorsements but his whole life is to be the best footballer in the world. I don’t think he wants to be the best model in the world or the best underwear seller. That’s not him.”

That’s a hilarious closing quote from Barnett, but he knows exactly how some folks are going to interpret it: “Bale thinks Ronaldo loves himself too much.”

[ MORE: Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott ]

There’s nothing better for the ultimate success of a team than healthy, friendly competition between teammates who are spectacularly talented as Ronaldo and Bale. The former will only be around to perform at his current level for so much longer, but at what point does the latter officially take the torch and supplant Madrid’s biggest star, and how accepting will he be of passing that proverbial torch?

Olivier Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott

Olivier Giroud, France
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Is it just me, or does the press really only ever get noteworthy quotes from players during international breaks?

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I suppose it’s not surprising, given Premier League players get away from the mean ole British press, go back to their respective homelands and speak with journalists they’ve likely known since their early playing days, thus feel more comfortable opening up about key issues.

Anyway, today we have Olivier Giroud essentially calling himself out for having lost the starting striker’s job at Arsenal because he’s been outplayed of late by Theo Walcott. As discussed before, this is bad news for Giroud because he’s now falling down the depth chart for France with next summer’s European Championship on the horizon.

[ MORE: Aguero admits he wants Guardiola link-up ]

Giroud, on losing his place at Arsenal — quotes from the Guardian:

“At Arsenal, I am in competition with Theo for the striker position. But he is doing well at the moment, so there is no reason to change.

“Whether it was at Tours, Montpellier or Arsenal, I have never experienced a situation like this, I have often played from the start. I need to take positives and to harden myself mentally. It is something new for me.

“I was in [Walcott’s] place in previous seasons at Arsenal. I imagine what he must have been thinking. But I feel that the coach believes in me.”

Giroud goes on to cast into doubt his own confidence, stating in very certain terms he needs “to believe more in [his] abilities.” Giroud’s always come across as a bit of an existentialist, but it’s always strange to hear players publicly call themselves out — particularly their confidence — as if that’s not going to increase the pressure currently weighing down on them.

[ MORE: Rodgers reportedly chosen to take over at Aston Villa ]

The next eight months are going to be monumentally important in Giroud’s career, as the 29-year-old attempts to prove he’s worth keeping around at Arsenal and deserving of a place in the national team squad for next summer’s EUROs, which are to be played in France.