Flashback: That Time Ibrahimovic Slapped Michael Petrasso
One of the world’s all-time greatest strikers, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, has officially hung up his boots after a career that saw him score 561 goals for club and country combined. In true Zlatan style, he claims that he didn’t even tell his family before the big announcement.
Known infamously for his egocentric personality and famously for his dazzling skills on the pitch to back up his machismo, the 41-year-old wrapped a star-studded career that includes stops of Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Ac Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, and Manchester United.
Tucked in before his final stop with AC Milan was a high-profile stint with the Los Angeles Galaxy, where the former Swedish international had quite a run-in with current York United midfielder Michael Petrasso.
The elder Petrasso brother was playing for CF Montreal at the time, and was squaring up against Zlatan on the pitch. As the two jostled for position, Zlatan didn’t appreciate getting his boot stepped on, delivering Petrasso a slap to the side of the head.
“In the moment it was shock,” Petrasso reflected to CanPL back in 2019. “I still hear about it quite a bit, it’s kind of what everyone recognizes me for now.”
Zlatan would receive a red card for getting physical with Petrasso, who would later join the Canadian Premier League in its inaugural season through Valour before transferring to York United.
Despite being on the receiving end of a sweltering slap on the day, Petrasso still described the experience as one that he’s grateful for. It marked Zlatan’s only red card during his time stateside, and the second-last of his career.
Zlatan had a knack for procuring highlights against Canadian opposition, though thankfully he used his feet for the other moments – like his spectacular 500th career goal against Toronto FC.
Now in his fifth Canadian Premier League season and his fourth with York United, Petrasso has come off the bench for the Nine Stripes four times this season following a spell on the sidelines – something that he’s been well familiar with during his time in the league.
Dubbed the ‘Canadian Messi‘ during a prolific spell on loan with Barnet, the Canadian midfielder is an intriguing addition to York United, delivering three goals and seven assists despite his injury struggles.
When he’s fully fit, however, Petrasso is quite a talent to be reckoned there – there’s a reason Montreal had him measuring up against a guy like Zlatan, after all.