Cesc Fabregas and Zlatan Ibrahimovic almost came to blows after Paris Saint-Germain beat Chelsea 2-1 in the Champions League last 16 first leg on Tuesday night.
This is according to the Daily Mail, who understand that Fabregas and his Chelsea teammates were unhappy with what Zlatan had said to players on the pitch.
Fabregas subsequently demanded an explanation from the enigmatic Swedish striker, who responded to the Spanish midfielder after initially ignoring him. This led to a “heated exchange”.
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Susana Guasch, a Spanish pitchside reporter who was covering the match for TV station Antena 3, was quoted by the Mail as saying: “Run-in between Ibra and Cesc on leaving the stadium. He said: ‘you spoke too much today’. Fabregas asked him for explanations.
“But Ibra pretended not to hear. And they took Cesc away so that it did not escalate any further.”
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Fabregas was wise not to start fight with Zlatan
The report adds that Fabregas did not need to be pulled away by Chelsea officials - the two players simply went their separate ways.
In fairness, it’s hard to imagine Cesc squaring up to Zlatan, who is about a foot taller than the former Barcelona star and has a black belt in Taekwondo.
It would have been a very one-sided scuffle.
However, it’s not difficult to imagine that Zlatan likes to have a few verbal digs on the pitch.
Zlatan fired up after last season's red card
The experienced forward would have been fired up after he was harshly shown a red card in the same fixture last season - and that additional adrenaline may have been behind his decision to take a pop at his opponents.
But there was no need for Zlatan to engage in afters following the final whistle: PSG had won the match and he’d scored one of the goals.
Zlatan described Chelsea players as 'babies'
After last season’s Champions League match at Stamford Bridge, Ibrahimovic described Chelsea’s players as “babies” after they surrounded the referee following his tackle on Oscar - and the PSG star may have felt a sense of bitterness towards some of them.
"I don't know if I have to get angry or start to laugh,” Ibrahimovic said of Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers after his red card, per Sky Sports. “For me when I saw the red card I was like 'the guy doesn't know what he's doing'
"That is not the worst. The worst is when I got the red card all the Chelsea players come around. It felt like I had a lot of babies around me."
It will be interesting to see if Zlatan manages to control himself when he returns to west London on March 9.
Who would win in a fight: Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Cesc Fabregas? Leave your comments in the box below!