Football: Here's an idea how to beat Zlatan - according to Toulouse, send him presents

Sweden soccer captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic smiles during a news conference at the Scandic Park Hotel in Stockholm on Oct 7, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Sweden soccer captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic smiles during a news conference at the Scandic Park Hotel in Stockholm on Oct 7, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (REUTERS) - Toulouse have taken a novel approach to trying to contain Paris St Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic - by sending him presents on his Oct 3 birthday.

The birthday package contained a balm to help Ibrahimovic recover from the heel injury that has kept him out of PSG's last three games, including a 1-1 draw against Toulouse, as well as Toulouse shirts with his sons' names on the back and a video game.

"We're not expecting any favour in return but we still hope that you will remember it when we play again in February," PSG's Ligue 1 rivals said in the postscript to an ironic note posted on their website (www.tfc.info).

It seemed as though "Zlatanmania" had taken a surreal turn as the birthday greeting began with a fawning message. "Yes, today is your birthday, 33, the age of Christ, your son," they wrote. "Now all the mums, the sisters... also want to see the phenomenon Ibrahimovic.

"Zlatan - how to bring the whole family back together around football. Happy birthday and long live the Z!"

With so many teams struggling to keep the Swede hitman quiet, guess Toulouse have really got nothing to lose by going on the charm offensive.