Powerful Swedish soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic became one of the best strikers in Europe; He was the protagonist in eight clubs, thus winning 8 titles, he is one of the most decorated active footballers in the world, having won 31 trophies in his career. He has scored more than 570 goals in his career, including more than 550 club goals, and has scored in each of the last four decades.

Who is Zlatan Ibrahimovic?

Born on October 3, 1981 in Malmö, Sweden, Zlatan Ibrahimovic overcame a difficult upbringing to become a professional soccer star. He played for clubs in Sweden, Holland, Italy, England and Spain, clinching multiple goalscoring titles while leading his teams to eight consecutive league championships. One of the most polarizing figures in sport, Ibrahimovic published a best-selling autobiography in 2011.

Early life

Footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic was born on October 3, 1981 in Malmö, Sweden, to a Bosnian father and a Croatian mother. His parents divorced when Ibrahimovic was 2 years old and he had a difficult childhood in the immigrant-populated Rosengård district. On his own account, Ibrahimovic was a bicycle thief and school bully, but he became a tall, agile athlete with an obvious talent for playing soccer.

As a child, his mother would sometimes hit him on the head with a wooden spoon, which often broke. After she was arrested for handling stolen goods, social services intervened. Concerned about his divorced mother’s ability to deal with five children, one of whom, Zlatan’s half-sister, had a drug problem, at age nine he was sent to live with his father. With a food shortage at his father’s house, where the fridge was full of beer, Zlatan often went hungry, so he would rush to his mother’s house for dinner. He also stole and stole bicycles.

Career

Ibrahimovic made his professional debut for Malmö FF in 1999 and helped the second division club jump to the top tier the following season. The 6’5 “forward later signed with prominent Dutch club AFC Ajax and honed his formidable skills as part of two title-winning teams, although he also developed a reputation as a temperamental player.

After four years with Ajax, Ibrahimovic moved to Juventus F.C. and led the Italian club to two Serie A championships. However, Juventus was stripped of those titles when the club’s management was accused of fixing matches in the infamous Calciopoli scandal, and Ibrahimovic forced a transfer to A.C. Milan. More success followed for the towering forward, who won three straight Serie A titles and claimed his first league goalscoring crown in 2009.

Transferred to F.C. Barcelona for Samuel Eto’o in 2009, Ibrahimovic starred in a butt-strengthened club, which achieved a league title and Super Cup victories, but clashed with coach Pep Guardiola and spent the following season on loan to A.C. Milan. The Italian club bought his contract in full for 2011-12 and Ibrahimovic claimed his second goalscoring crown, although his incredible streak of eight consecutive seasons at a title-winning club came to an end.

After transferring to Paris Saint-Germain in 2012, the veteran forward showed that he had a lot left in the tank by claiming a third scoring title with 30 goals, a career-high, and leading the club to its first Ligue 1 title. in 19 years.

Moving to Manchester United in 2016, Ibrahimovic helped the English club win the 2017 UEFA Europa League final. He returned the following season, but did not play after a severe knee injury in late December.

Public image and personal life

One of the most polarizing figures in football, the forward registered the trademarks “Zlatan” and “Zlatan Ibrahimovic” in 2003, establishing exclusive naming rights for sportswear and other products throughout the European Union. Ibrahimovic met his girlfriend, former Swedish model Helena Seger, early in his professional career. They have two children together.

The soccer star published his autobiography, I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic, in late 2011. The best-selling memoirs detailed Ibrahimovic’s tough childhood and his clashes with Guardiola and other players, and an English version was published in September 2013.

Return to Milan

On December 27, 2019, Ibrahimović returned to Milan with a free transfer with a six-month contract until the end of the season, with the option to extend his contract until the end of the 2020-21 season, subject to certain conditions.

He made his first appearance since his return to the club on January 6, 2020, and entered as a substitute in the 0-0 home draw of Serie A against Sampdoria at San Siro. Ibrahimović scored his first goal for Milan since returning on January 11, in a 2-0 win over Cagliari.

The historic goal saw him score in each of the last four decades (1990, 2000, 2010, 2020).

April 8, 2021

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