Zlatan Ibrahimovic: When Julio Cesar tried to psych out AC Milan star before a penalty

  • Kobe Tong

Zlatan Ibrahimovic isn't exactly lacking in the confidence department.

And power to him because the Swedish striker is one of the best footballers we've seen in the last 20 years, ageing like a fine wine to produce some of the strongest scoring tallies in the business.

Whether Ibrahimovic is donning the colours of Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain or LA Galaxy, you can feel pretty certain that he'll be scoring goals and doing so with aplomb.

Ibrahimovic's scoring prowess in Italy

But of all the clubs that Ibrahimovic has turned out for across his illustrious career, there's perhaps an argument to be that he enjoyed his happiest years with AC Milan.

Now, yes, we're well aware that Ibrahimovic is on the Rossoneri's books right this second but despite his fantastic form of late, it was his initial spell with the club that produced the finest return.

Across the 2010/11 and 2011/12 campaigns that Ibrahimovic spent on the red and black side of Milan, he helped himself to an extraordinary tally of 56 goals in just 86 appearances.

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Milan derby in 2012

And we're inclined to think that few moments summed up the confidence that was running through Ibrahimovic during his first spell at Milan than during an infamous clash with Julio Cesar.

When preparing to take a penalty in the Derby della Madonnina, Ibrahimovic was subject to some of the most committed psyching out tactics that we've ever seen from a goalkeeper.

Inter Milan's shot-stopper pulled out all the stops to ensure that Ibrahimovic was made to feel intimidated from 12 yards in the hope that it would cause him to miss such a massive opportunity.


Ibrahimovic vs Julio Cesar

Cesar could be seen loitering around the back of the net, wasting time on his own goal line and even getting right up in Ibrahimovic's face to try and play mind games with him before the kick.

It really does make for incredible footage before the penalty was even taken, but the result made it even more spectacular with Ibrahimovic proving that it takes more than that to get in his head.

Check out Ibrahimovic's nerveless moment of skill down below:

Sorry, Julio Cesar, but your mind games don't work against one of the best in the business.

Ibrahimovic wins the battle of whits

As you can imagine, Ibrahimovic was keen to get his own back on the Brazilian shot-stopper once the ball hit the net with cameras showing him giving Cesar a piece of his mind in return.

According to Goal, Ibrahimovic said of the incident: "He tried using mind games on me. Julio Cesar said to me before the penalty, 'Shoot it hard in the centre of the goal.'

"So after I scored I said to him: 'No, I will score instead.'"


If you come at the king, you best not miss.

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