Football News

Hakan Calhanoglu slams ‘attention-seeking’ Zlatan Ibrahimovic for celebrating Serie A title win after “barely playing”

By Ben Green

Published: 13:25, 23 June 2022

Hakan Calhanoglu has taken aim at Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the Swedish star mocked him during Milan’s title-winning celebrations.

Calhanoglu, 28, left Milan last summer for bitter rivals and then Italian champions Inter after declaring his motivation to win the Serie A title.

However, his former club ultimately dethroned Inter in the season just gone to reclaim the Scudetto for the first time in over a decade — and Ibrahimovic was quick to rub salt in the wounds of Calhanoglu during the club’s title procession.

Never one to shy away from the spotlight, the oft-outspoken Swede was involved in a crowd chant mocking Calhanoglu on the streets of Milan while a blow-up doll donning the midfielder’s shirt was waved around.

Following that incident Calhanoglu has now hit back at his ex-teammate, saying Ibrahimovic is simply an ‘attention seeker’ who behaves like someone half his age.

“Ibrahimovic is a 40-year-old man, not 18, so I wouldn’t do that sort of thing at his age,” Calhanoglu told Tivibu Spor.

“He just likes being the centre of attention. He didn’t contribute to the Scudetto this season, he barely played, but will do everything to be the focus anyway.

“Besides, he is the one who always calls me up, asks me to go out to dinner or for a motorbike ride. He wrote about me in his book too. He had to write something, or it would’ve been blank pages.

“It’s best not to bother, honestly.”

The Malmo-born marksman certainly endured his fair share of injury problems last season, which restricted him to just 11 starts in Serie A. He featured a further four times in the Champions League and netted eight goals across all competitions.

Despite injuries conspiring to derail his campaign, Ibrahimovic managed to feature 27 times in all competitions, though he is once again set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after requiring surgery on an ACL issue, which is likely to render him unavailable for the rest of the year.