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Ref's Refusal To Give Zlatan Ibrahimović The Match Ball After Hattrick Remembered

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Ref's Refusal To Give Zlatan Ibrahimović The Match Ball After Hattrick Remembered

As one of the most opinionated and intimidating players in history, it's no surprise that very few people in football have stood up to AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimović.

However, one extremely rare occasion in which the Swede was left speechless has been remembered this week. Back in 2015, when the 39 year old was in the colours of French giants PSG, referee Tony Chapron did not hand the striker the match ball after netting a hattrick against Lorient.

This led to some crazy scenes as the players and officials left the pitch, with Ibrahimović pleading for Chapron to offload the ball.

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"Ref, the ball!" he exclaimed in footage released from the tunnel.

"Wait," Chapron replied. "I decide."

This did not go down well with the hattrick hero.

"Ah you want to be the boss now," Ibrahimović snapped. "Okay, good. You're the boss. Good for the camera!"

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This was not the first time Chapron was involved in a controversial incident during his 12 years as a referee in Ligue 1. In 2018, the Frenchman kicked out at former FC Nantes defender Diego Carlos who had inadvertently tripped him up as he tried to catch up with play.

This saw Chapron suspended by The French Football Federation for 6 months, after which the 49 year old retired from officiating to work for the nation's football media.

When asked as to why he dismissed Ibrahimović's request back in 2015, Chapron said it was due to the latter's lack of manners.

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"He arrived close to me- he just clicked his fingers and said 'the ball!" he told BBC Sport in 2018. "I have four daughters and when we're together and they ask something, if we don't have the word 'please' at the end of the sentence, there is no reaction.

Image Credit- PA Images
Image Credit- PA Images

So, it's the same. It's a kind of education. I think it was a kind of disrespect. There is something wrong with society if we forget the simple things such as 'please' and 'thank you'.

It was the beginning of the Ibrahimović show because nobody says no to Zlatan. I was probably the only one."

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Chapron did not hold back when he was asked what he thought about the four-time Ligue 1 champion, who scored a staggering 113 goals in 122 games for The Parisians.

"He is a very annoying guy," Chapron continued. "Not only with referees. He was always blaming his teammates, always trying to cause trouble with the opponents.

Image Credit- PA Images
Image Credit- PA Images

He was a crazy guy. I think he's a fantastic player but on the pitch he's someone else. And it was very difficult as a referee.

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I hope for him that he's a kind of actor, because he says so many things, crazy things, I hope he doesn't think what he says."


Topics: Ligue 1, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, PSG

James Aldred
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