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Dirty Tackle

Zlatan Ibrahimovic recaps the PSG-Barca first leg for Pep Guardiola

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(Getty)

Welcome, Pep. I am Zlatan.

That is what I would've said had you accepted the match ticket I attached to the beak of a hawk and sent to swoop down on you in New York City as if you were a large mouse. But you didn't accept this warlike gesture of kindness, so instead I will regale you with the tale of how I toyed with the shell of the team that you left behind in the first leg of our Champions League quarterfinal.

In short, Pep, I was the hawk -- the Zlawk -- and Barcelona were your exposed scalp scurrying around the sidewalks of Manhattan to a wine shop or gluten-free market. Everything was going well enough on their excursion in the big city. Lionel Messi scored in the 38th minute to give them an away goal. David Beckham handsomed his way around the pitch, but didn't do much more than that. I informed Gerard Pique that at three months old, his son should at least be a green belt in Taekwondo and he said Shakira doesn't approve of baby martial arts. I laughed in his face. And then it was halftime.

As I walked off the pitch, I saw the seat that I had reserved for you was still empty, Pep. This latest show of disrespect Zlangered me. So I whipped my ponytail from one side of my head to the other with such vengeful force that it made Lionel Messi's hamstring explode. He wasn't near me at the time. Nor was I targeting him with my fury (if anything, I was hoping to disintegrate the mustaches above Xavi's eyes). But it happened. And I was definitely the reason.

Without Messi in the second half, it was clearly Zlatime. Since this match was in Paris, home to the world's greatest artistic works, such as me, I decided to let the drama build a bit. Then, in the 79th minute, I scored from an offside position so blatant that it made the linesman question his very existence. I did this on purpose so it would hurt even more than a normal goal and because I am so tall that I am above the rules. After all, I was supposed to be banned for this match.

In the 87th minute, I was booked for mind control and shortly after that, Xavi converted a penalty to put Barca up 2-1. Sounds like a happy ending for everyone but Zlatan, doesn't it Pep? Wrong! In the fourth minute of injury time, I headed the ball to Blaise Matuidi, who capitalized on my benevolence by scoring the equalizer. And at the final whistle, the seat at the Parc des Princes that you were supposed to occupy launched itself into the core of the moon. Like Barcelona, you have survived to see another day. Also like Barca, this is only true because the Zlawk hasn't decided to swallow you whole and soar up into the mountains of the semifinals just yet. First, I must dive back down to Barcelona -- again, like a hawk and not like Alexis Sanchez -- and fulfill the prophecy that I just decided on now.

Infant elbow strike!

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