One of the most charismatic figures in the world of football is undoubtedly represented by Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The Swedish striker of Yugoslav origin played for very important teams, such as Ajax, Juventus, Inter, Milan (where he still plays, having returned after several years), PSG, Manchester United and Barcelona.
The many manifestations
As we have already seen in some articles by Carolina Kostner, the story of the figure skater, today we will face the life and great story of Ibrahimovic, a soccer legend.
In all these years, Ibrahimovic has always shown that he is a true champion, a player capable of both changing the game and leading the team thanks to his great charisma.
However, Ibrahimovic‘s story is also and above all made of revenge, and of a difficult past, marked by the social context in which he grew up:
- Malmö suburbs;
- In Sweden;
- Neighborhoods heavily populated by immigrants;
- And in which crime and poverty are at worrying levels.
Here is the story of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, from the beginning to his current experience in Milan.
Zlatan Ibrahimović was born on October 3, 1981 in Malmö, Sweden to Sefik Ibrahimović (father, Bosnian and Muslim) and Jurka Gravić (mother, of Croatian Catholic and part Albanian descent).
In his childhood he grew up in Rosengard, a suburb of Malmö where mainly immigrants live.
He started playing soccer when he first received a pair of soccer boots at the age of 6.
He played for FBK Balkan, a club made up mainly of Yugoslav immigrants, for Malmö BI and then for Bk Flagg.
He became a starter for his hometown club Malmö FF as a teenager.
At the age of 15, the young Zlatan was very close to saying goodbye to his football career, to get a job in the port of Malmö: his coach, who must have foreseen the future in some way, convinced him not to stop playing.
Zlatan Ibrahimović has been the victim of abuse and harassment, including in football, but he has shown resilience and turned it all into confidence, developing extraordinary charisma himself.
Ajax and Juventus
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger failed to convince Ibrahimovic to play for the Gunners, so on March 22, 2001, Ajax successfully signed the Swede for €8.7 million.
In 2002 he participated in the 2002 World Cup.
On August 22, 2004, he attracted the attention of the general public when he scored a magnificent solo goal against NAC Breda, beating five opponents.
The network won the Eurosport Viewers Goal of the Year award.
Ibrahimovic was sold to Juventus for €16 million on August 31, 2004, where he immediately entered the starting eleven and scored 16 goals, which took the Bianconeri to the top of Serie A.
At the end of the season, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was named foreign Serie A footballer of the year and in November 2005 he received the award as the best Swedish footballer of the year.
Ibrahimovic is called up for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
A sentence that always represents it is:
“I don’t accept it per se, I don’t accept it at all. I learned it from life. For him he spoke to me about determination and aggressiveness, determination and concentration on one’s goals. I have the mission to win.”
Inter, Barcelona and Milan
After his experience at Juventus, Ibrahimovic signed for Inter, where he won 3 leagues in a row and attracted even more attention from the big names from all over Europe, also and above all thanks to the great plays he managed to make on the pitch. .
He thus arrives at Barcelona with whom he signs a 5-year contract but his experience, although incredibly positive, paradoxically should not be framed as others.
Despite managing to win a Spanish championship, two Spanish Super Cups, a UEFA Super Cup and a Club World Cup, when he is called upon to give a decisive performance in the Champions League, he creates discontent in the Blaugrana environment.
He then signed for AC Milan with free payment and a ransom fee of 24 million euros where he wins a Super Cup.
Milan wins its 18th Scudetto.
For Ibrahimovic it is the eighth consecutive championship.
PSG, Manchester United, LA Galaxy and return to Milan
After the brief interlude from AC Milan, Ibrahimovic returns to Europe, first to PSG, where he wins four championships and several cups and also becomes the top scorer in the championship with 30 goals in 34 games.
He then moved to Manchester United, with whom he won a European trophy: the Europa League in the 16/17 season.
Before returning to Milan, where he currently plays, in the 19/20 season he played in the United States, with the Los Angeles Galaxy. With an announcement on social networks Ibrahimovic announces his goodbye to Los Angeles Galaxy Ibrahimovic’s return to Milan is finally officially announced.
Ibramovic has always maintained referring to his experience in Milan:
“Without a doubt, AC Milan is the biggest club I’ve ever played for. Everybody knows it, they have an unbelievably winning history. There was an air of absolute grandeur and you could feel it in all those internationally renowned champions who packed the training camp, something truly brilliant.”
Private life and curiosity
The footballer is not married, but he has had a partner since 2001, the former Swedish model Helena Seger.
Defining her as a “model” seems a bit simplistic given the numerous experiences she has accumulated.
The couple have two sons, Maximilian and Vincent.
Once he grew up and established himself in the world of football as one of the strongest strikers of the moment, Zlatan Ibrahimovic had to experience a great family drama: the disappearance of one of his brothers.
At the end of 2011 his autobiography entitled “Io, Ibra” and in November 2016, a statue of him was erected at the Friends Arena in Stockholm.
In November 2018, his second book “Io sono il calcium” was published, with testimonies and stories of players and coaches that he had in his career, including José Mourinho and Andrea Pirlo.
In 2021, the release of a film about him, I am Zlatan (or simply Zlatan), was announced, which was then released in theaters on November 11.
On October 3, 2021, Zlatan Ibrahimovic turned 40, an important milestone for those who have gone through many milestones in his life.
He would have liked to celebrate them on the pitch playing for AC Milan but due to an injury he had to finish the 20/21 season early.
Therefore, it can be said with certainty that we are facing one of the greats of football that will remain in the history of this sport.
In his long career he has won 31 team trophies, distributed as follows:
- 11 national championships;
- 3 national cups;
- 4 league cups;
- 10 National Super Cups;
- A European Super Cup;
- A Club World Cup and;
- A Europa League.
In total, he has won thirty-one trophies in his career, making him one of the most successful players of all time.