Not for the first time this season, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has risked landing himself in hot water.
A gender controversy has erupted as a result of the Paris Saint-Germain star's comments on women's football, which he clearly feels are some way off the standard of their male counterparts'.
Speaking to the Expressen newspaper this week (h/t the Guardian), Ibrahimovic said:
With all respect for what the ladies have done, and they've done it fantastically well, you can't compare men's and women's football. Give it up, it's not even funny.
When I come out in Europe they compare me to [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo. When I come home they compare me to a female player. With all respect for the ladies, they should be rewarded in relation to what they generate [financially].
I was asked [by Swedish media] in the summer who was the better player, me or [Sweden striker] Lotta Schelin. You're joking with me, right? When I've broken all these records, this goal record, the goals in the national team, who shall I compare it to? Shall I compare it to whoever has the record, or the ladies?
While one would find it difficult to find footing in the argument that women were generally equal to men in terms of football quality, it's easy to see why a woman might find Ibrahimovic's comments abrasive.
One such figure who clearly falls under that category is Sweden's women's national team coach Pia Sundhage who, when speaking to Swedish outlet SVT (h/t the Guardian), reacted:
[It's] boring and sad for Swedish football when a team captain puts it so. One time, he says that we are fantastic and then he thinks that we should have a bike. It feels like he is up and down in the article and it is unfortunately completely wrong, I think.
I understand him when he says that [the men's] squad pulls in more money and exposure. But it's still about respect, we're doing the same stuff: it's football. Then, one should not compare men and women, it is quite impossible.
Though the head-to-head wouldn't quite qualify as a "battle of the sexes" just yet, it appears there's a clear divide in opinion struck between two of Sweden's biggest football figures, gender being the split.