Zlatan Ibrahimovic disappointed in 'badly behaved' Argentina World Cup winners

AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, pictured at a press conference on 12 December, 2022 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
(Image credit: Claudio Villa/AC Milan via Getty Images)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic says Argentina's players deserve no respect for their behaviour during the 2022 World Cup final, and feels that the current crop won't win the trophy again.

Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina beat France in an epic final in Qatar last month to become world champions for the third time – but the occasion was somewhat marred by accusations of 'offensive behaviour' from some members of the Albiceleste squad, prompting FIFA to open an investigation (opens in new tab).

Emi Martinez's antics were the most notable: after his (ultimately successful) disruption tactics as Lionel Scaloni's side won on penalties, the goalkeeper made a crude gesture to TV cameras after receiving the Golden Glove award. Furthermore, Martinez was among a number of Argentina players caught mocking defeated France star Kylian Mbappe as they celebrated their triumph.

Emi Martinez of Argentina celebrates with the Golden Glove award after the FIFA World Cup 2022 final between Argentina and France on 18 December, 2022 at the Lusail Iconic Stadium in Lusail, Qatar.

Martinez celebrates winning the Golden Glove in his own unique way... (Image credit: Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

And all of that left Ibrahimovic – who was in attendance at the Lusail Stadium for the final – less than impressed. Speaking to France Inter (quotes via Goal), the AC Milan striker – who was briefly a teammate of Messi's at Barcelona – said (opens in new tab):

"Messi is considered the best player in history; I was sure he was going to win. What will happen is that [Kylian] Mbappe will still win a World Cup.

"I'm not worried about [Messi]; I'm worried about the others in [the] Argentina [squad] because they will not win anything more. Messi has won everything and he will be remembered, but the rest who behaved badly, we can't respect that.

"This is coming from me, speaking as a top professional player: that is a sign that you will win once, but you won't win again. You don't win like that."

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...