ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC may have got the last laugh against Shamrock Rovers last night but not before a classic bit of Irish mickey-taking.
Paddy Power, who obviously couldn't the resist the temptation to crash the Swedish superstar's inaugural visit to Dublin, decided to plaster the Tallaght Stadium with a number of tongue-in-cheek banners prior to Rovers' Europa League tie with AC Milan.
One banner read: "Go home to your sexy cars," while another said: "We put pineapple on our pizza" in a cheeky attempt to make fun of the Italian side.
Another read: "Want a transfer Zlatan? The Square are hiring," which apparently didn't sit too well with the former Manchester United and PSG star.
Paddy Power with some cracking banners in tallaght 😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/vmvVHL3gI9
— Domestic Ireland (@DomesticIreland) September 16, 2020
A source revealed to Extra.ie that a complaint from Ibrahimovic’s representatives led to the removal of the banners ahead of the Europa League second round qualifying clash.
Speaking ahead of the match, a spokesman for Paddy Power said: "For Shamrock Rovers to play such a big game behind closed doors, without their fans, is a shame as they’re so important to the team.
"We wanted to create a unique Irish atmosphere for both the fans at home and as a 'welcome' for the Italians."
The atmosphere did little to distract the Serie A giants as they strolled to a comfortable 2-0 win over Stephen Bradley's Rovers side.
Ibrahimovic netted the opening goal after a slick one-two with Hakan Calhanoglu, and had a hand in the second midway through the second half, with Calhanoglu finishing from outside the box to put the result beyond all doubt.
Shamrock forward Gary O'Neill was left in awe of the Swedish veteran after the match, saying that it was like "a stroll in the park" for the 38-year-old.
"I think he was playing half-hearted, it was a stroll in the park for him there tonight," he said.
"The back three were just saying about his strength, his size, his movement, his hold-up play, everything. It's just two or three steps above what we're used to."