In case you were unaware, there’s a pretty big football tournament happening at the moment. Probably the biggest in the world. The World Cup, in fact.
Gareth Southgate’s England squad have made it through to the quarter finals, where they will face Sweden later today, July 7.
Ahead of the match, footballing legend and possibly the most famous Swede since Abba – Zlatan Ibrahimovic – has upped his own personal stakes on the match by challenging England’s own footballing legend David Beckham to a ridiculous bet.
As if World Cup matches weren’t tense enough, the added stress of a personal loss or gain at the end of it all makes it all the more intense. The team I was given in the office sweepstake dropped out of the World Cup weeks ago, and to be honest that was as much gambling excitement as I could hack. It’s not for everyone.
Then again, if you’re Becks and Zlatan, you can probably afford to have a bit of fun.
The two players were teammates together at Paris Saint-Germain, and when Beckham left the French capital the pair remained good friends, with Becks even helping Zlatan make his decision to then move to LA Galaxy, Beckham’s former side.
And, of course, there’s their experiences at Manchester United. Though they didn’t play together at the club, I’m sure their separate experiences at Man U only give the pair even more to talk about.
So, how do these two golden-footed players fill their time when not playing football? Zlatan, Sweden’s all-time top scorer, has come up with a pretty brilliant bet.
Taking to Instagram yesterday, July 6, Zlatan said:
Yo @davidbeckham, if @England wins I buy you dinner where ever you want in the world, but if Sweden wins you buy me what ever I want from @IKEASverige ok?
Dinner wherever you want in the whole world? And if you lose all you have to do is buy a bit of flat-pack furniture? Becks, take the bet man.
Also, just an idea, the dinner should be in England, because it’s coming home, right?
David was quick to respond, writing:
If @swemnt win I will personally take you to @ikeasverige and buy you what ever you need for the new mansion in LA @lagalaxy , but when @england win I want you to come watch an @england game at Wembley wearing an England shirt and enjoy fish & chips at half time…
While I know who I’m supporting in the match, I would absolutely love to see these two shopping in Ikea, fiddling with those tiny pencils and weird paper measuring tapes. They’re definitely stopping for a big plate of meat balls, too.
After yesterday’s fixtures, we know that France will face Belgium in the first semi-final. And after today’s matches, England or Sweden will go up against Croatia or Russia in the second semi.
At the end of the day, football is the real winner. Unless you’re Zlatan or Becks, in which case it’s all about this bet.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.