Spain confirm Cesar Azpilicueta is 'safe and sound' after Zlatan challenge
Azpilicueta was fouled during Spain's World Cup qualifier against Sweden
Spain have confirmed that defender Cesar Azpilicueta is 'safe and sound' after he was involved in a vicious off the ball challenge from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
During Spain's World Cup qualifier against Sweden, Ibrahimovic was caught on camera shoving Azpilicueta to the ground during a corner, but the seasoned veteran escaped punishment - with VAR also not looking into the incident.
Thankfully for Azpilicueta and Spain, they had the last laugh over Zlatan and Sweden as they won 1-0 thanks to a late goal from Alvaro Morata to seal their place at next year's World Cup finals.
Since the game however, the 40-year-old striker has since been given a yellow card and will now miss Sweden's first game in the World Cup play-offs after they qualified as one of the 10 best runners-up in the qualifiers.
Zlatan floors Azpilicueta with “dark arts”! 😲
Ibrahimovic escaped punishment during the game but has since been banned from the first leg of Sweden’s World Cup play-off tie... pic.twitter.com/7YmEUK8l6i
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) November 15, 2021
The video has caused quite the stir across social media and Azpilicueta himself has responded to the challenge, confirming that he hadn't been injured and is okay after the brutal foul.
Speaking on his Twitter account, the Chelsea defender posted a picture of himself which read: "Todo bien por aquí", which translates to "Everything is good here," in English.
— César Azpilicueta (@CesarAzpi) November 15, 2021
To reassure that the 32-year-old hadn't been harmed in the violent challenge, Spain also confirmed that Azpilicueta was safe and away from Ibrahimovic.
They replied to the defender's tweet with the caption: "Confirmamos, está sano y salvo", which translates as "We confirm, you are safe and sound."
Confirmamos, está sano y salvo.
— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) November 15, 2021
We're happy that you're safe too, Cesar.
So far, Ibrahimovic has yet to comment on the foul himself, but couldn't resist a small dig at his opponents during a post-match interview - claiming that Spain were fortunate to win the game.
In a quote via football.london he said: "We played a good game, a very good game. We made a mistake on the goal and they got a shot away and scored from the rebound.
"Otherwise, it was a good performance overall, we had good chances, better chances than Spain had."
Should have scored them then, Zlatan.
- Netherlands boss Louis Van Gaal in ‘a lot of pain’ after falling off bicycle
- South Africa to request replay of Ghana game after “questionable decisions”
- Magda Eriksson says she would not want to go to Qatar as a gay woman