The name Zlatan Ibrahimović is wrapped in a different kind of sensation for football lovers around the world. With one of the longest international football careers of all time and plenty of new headlines, this Swedish striker is one of a kind.
In pretty much every club he joined, he led them to victory in the corresponding tournament.
This post is designed to be a highlight of Zlatan Ibrahimović’s career. We’re going to go over his humble beginnings and how he climbed to the top of the world in no time.
Who is Zlatan Ibrahimović?
Although Zlatan Ibrahimović plays for the Swedish team as well as a citizen of the country, his true lineage is a mix of Bosnia and Croatia. Born on October 3, 1981, Zlatan fell in love with football at the age of 6.
Weighing 95 kg and with a height of staggering 1.95m, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a beast of a human. He might not reach the physical abilities of modern day Erling Haaland, but during his era, he was one of the toughest and fittest athletes in the world.
His diet included over 3000 kCal of food intake, and his exercise was one that can be rivalled with Chris Hemsworth himself. The swedish striker was a epitome of athleticism, and still continues to go strong and working as a role model for his young AC Milan teammates, while nearing the age of 40. Most players by this age are retired or lost all fitness (Google Wayne Rooney at the age of 36).
The childhood of this man is just as decorated as his football career, just in the opposite sense. His parents struggled with the upbringing of 5 children most of the time. His mother was even arrested for dealing in stolen goods.
Child services in Sweden at that time had to intervene and the court decided for Zlatan Ibrahimović to live with his father. At this point, his parents are divorced. His father supposedly had alcohol problems. Zlatan Ibrahimović often had to visit his mother for food.
Among all of these incidents, he never stopped playing football for a day. In fact, he was actively playing for his very first club Malmö FF, even before signing an official contract with them. He almost quit his football career at the age of 15 in the hopes to work full-time at the docks of Malmö.
Fast forward to today, Zlatan Ibrahimović is the most decorated footballer to still be active. He has scored over 570 goals in his career and he’s the top goalscorer for his home country, Sweden.
As for playing style, he’s known for his iconic bicycle kicks, long-range shots, and volleys. Even at the age of 41, he’s dominating opponents for his current Serie A club, A.C. Milan.
Those Who Dare to Shape Zlatan: The Key Influences in Ibrahimović’s Career
|Key Role Players in Zlatan’s Career|
Coming from a serious abusive household plagued with alcoholism and stealing, Zlatan needed some serious figures to look up to for redemption. We believe he has been fortunate enough to have a lot of powerful people in his life. Or, perhaps it’s because he too has a very powerful personality.
So, who has been the biggest influence in his career? Let’s take a look at a few of them.
- Leo Beenhakker
One of the very first career boosts Zlatan got was from his 2nd club, Ajax. The manager at the time was Leo Beenhakker and he saw the potential in a young Zlatan before anyone else.
It was he who persuaded the club officials to spend enough money to get Zlatan under his wing. Their very first meeting has some very NSFW conversations in classic Ibrahimović style. He joined Ajax for a record-breaking $9 million transfer from his former club Malmö at that time.
- Helena Seger
When Zlatan first saw Helena Seger outside the Malmö Central Railway, did he know that he would marry her one day? A series of crazy events brought them together and they became very good friends.
One time, Zlatan was really sick and his household situation was making it worse. Helena took him in, took care of him, and made him whole again. Perhaps it was that very time when they realized they were made for each other.
- Jose Mourinho
Although this generation knows Mourinho from his time at Real Madrid, he did his time with Inter Milan too. And Zlatan was in the squad at that time. Zlatan Ibrahimović never had issues with being disciplined, as long as he got to express his thoughts. He has mentioned numerous times how crucial Mourinho’s guidance has been for his ravishing career.
How Many Clubs Has Zlatan Ibrahimović Played With?
Zlatan Ibrahimović made player transfers cool even before they were cool. He pretty much headlined the news every time he changed a club. It’s simply because a club getting him means it’s also getting his magic touch.
Let’s go over the biggest clubs Zlatan has played for and his achievements during that time.
The time at Malmö FF is a pivotal time for Zlatan’s career as it was his first take on professional football. He signed the contract in 1996. It was his time at Malmö that convinced Leo to get him for Ajax. At the same time, Arsène Wenger also tried to scoop him for Arsenal. Who knows, he could’ve helped Arsenal win Premier League that year!
While the achievements of the Malmö football club were not notable with Zlatan on the team, his individual statistics raised quite a few eyebrows around the world. It basically laid the bricks for the very colorful career he had ahead of him.
Although Zlatan played for Ajax, Zuventus, and Inter Milan before Barcelona, his time at Camp Nou is notable. Another football protégé, Leonel Messi was already on the frontline of the team. Adding Zlatan to the roster made Barcelona a force to reckon with.
In his 29 appearances with Barcelona, he scored 16 goals and assisted in many. His aggressive form on the field would often steal the thunder from other players. He had to terminate the 5-year contract early when the team formation changed to bring Leonel Messi in the middle. Zlatan was no longer comfortable with his position on the team.
AC Milan/Inter Milan
Zlatan Ibrahimović’s career started with AC Milan against the city rival, Inter Milan. The match ended at 2-1 with AC Milan as the winner. His very first season became the season where AC Milan won the Serie A.
In his 32 appearances, he scored a jaw-dropping 28 goals. His time with AC Milan has been one of the most productive times in his career considering the appearance-to-goals ratio.
Interestingly, this brilliant Swedish striker has also played for the rival team, Inter Milan. He was there for 3 years, appeared in 88 matches, and scored a very respectable 57 goals.
Paris Saint-Germain (PSG)
Zlatan Ibrahimović played 4 seasons with this top-tier Ligue 1 club at Parc des Princes stadium. Following the pattern, PSG won the first Ligue 1 championship after 19 years with Zlatan on the team.
In fact, PSG won all 4 of the Ligue 1 titles from 2012 to 2016. If that’s not the magic touch of Zlatan Ibrahimović, we don’t know what is.
During his time with PSG, he became the leading goalscorer for the club. He was also the top goalscorer in Ligue 1 for 3 seasons.
Zlatan’s entry to Major League Soccer in the USA happened through the hands of the LA Galaxy. He was captain of the team for the 2019 season. In 58 appearances over the span of 2 seasons, he scored 53 goals.
By this point, he was already 38 years old! At an age where most footballers hang up their spikes, Zlatan was still changing clubs.
In 2020, he returned to his once former club, AC Milan. At the time of writing this post, he’s still with the club and already appeared in more than 60 matches.
What Lies Ahead for Zlatan Ibrahimovic Now?
Zlatan is known to the world as an eccentric person with many layers of complexity surrounding him. Playing football at the age of 41 is only possible for such a person. And he has made it clear in many recent interviews that he has no plans to retire any time soon. He plans to put AC Milan back on the map by winning the next Serie A season.
It goes hand-in-hand with his statement after knee surgery in 2022, “I will be back with violence”.
Zlatan has been famous for his arrogance and some of the lines that he has used in the past.
Familiar with the following facts?
- When he was 10yrs, Zlatan Ibrahimović decided to live by himself. And his parents just moved to another house
- Zlatan can kill two stones with one bird.
- Zlatan gamil account [email protected]
- Zlatan can cut through a hot knife with butter
- One day Zlatan missed two days in a row in the school. Later on, these days were called Saturday and Sunday.
There are many facts and puns which are similar to Chuck Norris that are regarding Zlatan Ibrahimović. These all happened because of his arrogance and some of the things that he mentioned in the press, here are some examples:
- After leaving Barcelona, he said, “When you buy me, you are buying a Ferrari. If you drive a Ferrari you put premium petrol in the tank, you hit the motorway and you step on the gas. Guardiola filled up with diesel and took a spin in the countryside. He should have bought a Fiat.” – Don’t waste Zlatan.
- After joining Manchester United, and being asked, whether he will replace Eric Cantona as the King of Manchester “I won’t be the King of Manchester, I will be the God of Manchester.”
- I think I’m like wine. The older I get, the better I get.
- Arsene Wenger asked me to have a trial with Arsenal when I was 17. I turned it down. Zlatan doesn’t do auditions.
- One thing is for sure: a World Cup without me is nothing to watch.