Dirty Tackle

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s rules for new teammate Edinson Cavani to live by

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

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(Getty)

Hello Edinson, I am Zlatan. But you can call me Mr. Zlatan.

If I decide that it pleases me to stay in Paris for a second eternity (this is what I call a "season"), you and I will be teammates. That must feel exZlordinary for you. But since I score more goals than there are raindrops and you score slightly less, there could be problems ahead. For you.

In my infinite benevolence upon those who have not yet Zlangered me, I have cast a set of rules in stone for you to live by as long as we are working together. Consider these to be your own personal 10 Zlatmandments. Behold!

1. I am the boss. You are the sidekick. David Beckham understood this perfectly. He would pass me the ball and attempt to put my unspeakable brilliance into words when he talked to the press. So I rewarded him by letting him jump on me like a cartoon squirrel whenever I would inevitably score. You too can be a cartoon squirrel.

2. You must cut your hair. Let's not ignore the elephant in the room. You're a striker with long hair, I'm an immortal striker with better long hair. My ponytail is a symbol of my animalistic power, grace and a functional whip attached to the back of my head. Your hair is useless and makes you look like one of the Bee Gees. If you do not cut it, I will use my head whip to slap it off of you. Don't think I can? Ask Javier Pastore what happened to his car when he parked it within 60 feet of mine. He'll say I had it towed away by traditional means but he is just in denial of my follicular brawn.

3. Give me the ball. Why is this not at the top of the list? Because I shouldn't have to say it at all. Whenever you're presented with the decision to score yourself or pass to me, you have two options. First, you can pass it to me and gaze upon the magical force with which I score goals. Second, you can stop, douse yourself in lighter fluid and set yourself on fire right there on the pitch to avoid the unavoidable and horrific Zlightmare you will undoubtedly endure if you don't pass it to me.

4. When I ask how you're doing, just say "fine." I don't really care what's going on in your life, I'm just asking for the sake of saying words. If you are better or worse than fine and have a story to explain the deviation, write it down and bury it at the bottom of the ocean because I simply do not want to hear it.

5. I will kick you for my own amusement. There isn't anything you need to do with this one. It's just a warning. I will kick you. In training, while you sleep, when you're using the bathroom. It's going to happen, as it does for all of my teammates. It's just how I show affection. And disgust.

6. Pep Guardiola is now your mortal Zlenemy. You are either with me or against me in my mission to finally prove once and for all that he is just the worst. If you do not agree with this position then you will be forced to sit through my three and a half hour PowerPoint presentation detailing why this is irrefutable. There will be no breaks and if I make a snide remark about Shakira, you have to agree with it.

7. Do not ever combine your name with another word to create a new word. That's my thing. I invented it.

8. If this ever happens in a match that matters, you will NEVER SPEAK OF IT.

I didn't want the ball, I just wanted a hug, OK? Sometimes people need hugs during matches.

9. Zlatober. (Disregard this, I just wanted to see it in writing.)

10. That's me.

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