Top facts you need to know about the Lion, Zlatan Ibrahimović
Zlatan Ibrahimović makes an impression when joining a new club and that is obvious from his previous statistics. He has scored on his debut for five of his previous clubs, including Juventus, Inter, Barcelona, PSG, and LA Galaxy. Additionally, he has scored on his Champions League debut.
Zlatan is Sweden’s all-time top scorer in international matches. He won the Puskas award for his wonderful bicycle kick from 30 yards out against England.
He is fluent in 6 languages, including Swedish, Bosnian, English, Spanish, and Italian. Zlatan is so confident and when asked if his style of play was Yugoslavian or Swedish, he answered, “Zlatan Style”.
Zlatan has a record of scoring in every minute of 90 min in his entire playing career. Statistically speaking, he has scored in every minute he had played.
The interesting fact about Zlatan is that his name has been added to the Swedish Dictionary as a verb! The term ‘To Zlatan’ means to dominate or do something with extreme talent.
Zlatan lives with his lifetime partner Helena Seger who is a model, actor, and a businesswoman. She is almost 11 years older than him.
The couple has been together since 2002 and has 2 sons. Helena lives in Stockholm along with their two kids Maximilian and Vincent.
The followings are some interesting and unknown facts about Zlatan:
The footballing legend left LA Galaxy last year and joined AC Milan despite the fact that he was wanted by a host of clubs around the world.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic biography
Zlatan was born to a Muslim father, Sefik Ibrahimovic, and a Croatian mother, Jurka Gravic, who worked as a cleaner. He was born on the 3rd of October, 1981, and his parents separated two years later. He spent a difficult childhood in the immigrant-populated district of Rosengard, Sweden. Growing up, Zlatan chose to be a catholic.
The rough upbringing affected Zlatan’s life to a great extent, so he developed a stubborn character with a dogged determination not to change at any cost.
Quite surprisingly, Zlatan used to steal anything he needed. Once he said to reporters, “When we needed something for ourselves, all we do was to go to shop and steal. I had a particularly good relationship with bikes!”
Despite the fact that Zlatan describes his neighborhood as a dangerous place, he calls it ‘a paradise’, emphasizing the fact that he feels more at home there than the world’s most expensive hotels.
It’s interesting to know that Zlatan used to bully at school and even was ruled out of a club at 17 because of head-butting a teammate.
Zlatan started playing football at the age of six. He used to play for local junior clubs. He almost quit football to go to work when he was 15 years old. While growing up Ibrahimovic was a big fan of Brazilian Ronaldo.
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The soccer star released his autobiography entitled, “I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic”, in late 2011. The bestselling memoir detailed Ibrahimovic's rough childhood and his clashes with Guardiola and other players, and the book’s English version was published in September 2013.
Zlatan gave a limited edition Xbox One to all his teammates at Paris Saint-Germain in 2014 to thank those who had helped him out.
His teammates had their own name and squad number etched onto the design—as well as a signature from Zlatan!
One of the unknown facts about Zlatan is that he has got two black belts in Taekwondo, which is reflected in his goalscoring style.
Ibrahimovic Club career
The first fact is about Zlatan’s club career. He signed his first contract with Malmo FF in 1996. He made his professional debut for Malmö FF in 1999. The second-division club make the leap to the first level the following season.
The Sweden striker then signed with the Dutch club AFC Ajax and honed his formidable skills as part of two title-winning teams, though he also developed a reputation as a temperamental player.
However, Juventus was stripped of those titles when club management was charged with fixing matches in the infamous Calciopoli scandal, and Ibrahimovic forced a transfer to A.C. Milan.
More success followed for the towering striker, who won three straight Serie A titles and claimed his first league scoring crown in 2009.
Traded to F.C. Barcelona for Samuel Eto'o in 2009, Ibrahimovic starred for a loaded club that rolled to a league title and Super Cup victories, but he butted heads with manager Pep Guardiola and spent the following season on loan to A.C. Milan.
The Italian club purchased his contract outright for 2011-12 and Ibrahimovic claimed his second scoring crown, although his amazing streak of eight straight seasons on a title-winning club came to an end.
After transferring to Paris Saint-Germain in 2012, the veteran claimed a third scoring title with a career-high 30 goals and leading the club to its first Ligue 1 title in 19 years.
Moving on 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 aggravating a knee injury in late December.
In March 2018, the club confirmed it had terminated the veteran player's contract, allowing him to follow through with a move to join the L.A. Galaxy in the U.S.
Ibrahimovic followed with a statement on Instagram, "Great things also come to an end and it is time to move on after two fantastic seasons with Manchester United.
Thank you to the club, the fans, the team, the coach, the staff and everybody who shared with me this part of my history."
Finally, Zlatan left LA Galaxy last year and joined AC Milan despite the fact that he was wanted by a lot of clubs around the world.
Zlatan records and awards
The following are some facts about Zlatan’s records and awards:
- Zlatan is one of the ten players who have made more than 100 appearances for the Swedish football team, he is the country's all-time leading goalscorer with 62 goals.
- He has been awarded Guldbollen (The Golden Ball) given to the Swedish player of the year, he received this ball for ten times, including nine consecutive times from 2007 to 2015.
- In 2007 and 2009, he was selected in the UEFA Team of the Year.
- In December 2013, he was one of the three best players in the world at rank 3, after Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo.
- His spectacular bicycle kick won him FIFA Puska Award for Goal of the Year in 2013.
- In December 2014, Swedish Newspaper Dagens Nyheter named him the second greatest Swedish sportsperson of all time, after tennis player Bjorn Borg.
- At the time of his four seasons stay at PSG, Zlatan won four consecutive Ligue 1 titles, three Coupes de la Ligue, two Coupes de France, and was the top scorer in Ligue 1 for three seasons.
- In 2015, he became the PSG's all-time leading goalscorer with 156 goals in 180 matches.
Zlatan is known not just for the fierce football he plays, but for his intense personality off the pitch:
- In 2004, Zlatan bruised Ajax teammate, Rafael van der Vaart, who later accused Ibrahimovic of hurting him deliberately.
- Zlatan threatened him to break his both legs. At the time of his Barcelona spell, Ibrahimovic had a quarrel with coach Pep Guardiola, later he humiliated Guardiola.
- In 2010, Ibrahimovic was caught in a fistfight with Milan teammate Oguchi Onyewu, Ibrahimovic battered him on the head and even he suffered a rib injury.
- In 2011, he punched Bari defender Marco Rossi in the stomach during a game, which resulted in Zlatan’s three match ban.
- In February 2012, he slapped Napoli player Salvatore Monica and again got three match ban.
- In November 2012, he kicked AS Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier in the chest and got two match ban.
Although Zlatan is not technically married, he has lived with his partner Helena Seger for quite a long time.
Helena was born on the 25th of August, 1970, in Lindesberg, Sweden. She worked as a bartender when she was 17. Later, she entered the modeling and acting business. She graduated with a degree in economics.
Zlatan and Helena started dating in 2002. In 2006, she gave birth to a baby boy, Maximilian Ibrahimović. In 2008, Helena gave birth to their second son, Vincent Ibrahimović. The family has a bulldog named Trustor.
Zlatan’s wife is a successful businesswoman who earns millions of dollars. Her net worth is estimated to be around $160 million.
An interesting fact about Zlatan's wife is that she only lets him hang one picture of himself at home, and it's not of his face.
This is because Zlatan’s wife says there is "already enough talk" of him and it is enough that she sees him in real life, so she does not want him on her walls!
The picture Zlatan chose to hang was not even of his face, and there is a good reason why.
"My wife does not allow me to have pictures of myself," he said. "She says, 'There is already enough talk of you and I don't want to see you on the walls. It is enough that I see you in real life.'"
The one photograph Zlatan chose to have at home, was one that showed his feet, namely, the two things that made him one of the most famous people in the sport world.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a man not short on confidence. A lot of what he says to the media after games and in press conferences is tongue in cheek, but underneath the humor lies a powerful message.
Speaking to a reporter about who would qualify for the 2014 World Cup, Zlatan said, “Only God knows who will go through.” The reporter replied, “It’s hard to ask him.” And he answered, “You’re talking to him.”
After humiliating Liverpool’s Steven Henchoz, Zlatan said to reporters, “First I went left; he did too. Then I went right and he did too. Then I went left again and he went to buy a hot dog.”
Defying logic and getting better in old age she said, “I think I am difficult to satisfy, because when I win something, I’m already thinking about the next step, and that is maybe a problem for me. I’m not enjoying the moment. I’m already on the mission to win the next trophy.”
Zlatan said on his departure from PSG in May 2016, “I came as a king and I left as a legend.”
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Zlatan Charity works
In 2014, Zlatan donated over $50,000 for a team of intellectually disabled players from Sweden to participate in the INAS World Football Championships.
“Football should be played by anyone, regardless of gender, disability or not. And when we missed the World Cup, I was deeply disappointed, but when I heard about “the unknown team” I said to myself that I wanted to do everything in my power to help them to experience the World Cup. There was nothing to think about. It was a given. Now I get to experience the World Cup through them,” Zlatan said to reporters.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has recently launched a fundraiser to help fight COVID-19, aiming for €1million for Humanitas hospitals. In a video posted on Twitter he said:
“I decided together with the people who are working with me to create a fundraiser for Humanitas hospitals and to use my communication power to spread the message wider.”
“I count on the generosity of my colleagues, of all professional athletes and of those who want to make a small or large donation according to their possibilities to kick this virus away.”
He said, “If the virus doesn’t go to Zlatan, Zlatan goes to the virus,” as usual, referring to himself in third person reflecting his sense of self-worth!
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Ibrahimovic is known for showing off his body ink when celebrating. He even said in his autobiography ‘I am Zlatan’ that tattoos became "like a drug for me."
Once Zlatan tattooed 15 names on his body for the United Nations. It was reported that 805 million people suffer from hunger in the world: an enormous figure that does not often make the headlines.
To draw attention to this problem, the United Nations World Food Program – the largest humanitarian organization fighting hunger worldwide, initiated the ‘805 million names’ awareness campaign, starring football player Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Zlatan, then PSG striker and captain of the Swedish national team, put his talent and fame to the service of WFP to bring to light the reality of those suffering from hunger, whether they are struck by war, natural disasters or extreme poverty.
To give voice to these people, Zlatan revealed, during a live football match, the names of 15 individuals, all suffering from hunger – tattooed to his body.
“Wherever I go people recognize me, call my name, cheer for me. But there are names no one cares to remember. That no one cheers for: the 805 million people suffering from hunger in the world today. I have supporters all over the world. From now on I want this support to go to the people who really need it. So whenever you hear my name, you will think of their names. Whenever you see me, you will see them”, said Zlatan.
Later, he revealed that the names have been temporarily inked on his chest to highlight world famine around the world.
Zlatan said on his tattoos, “The first tattoo I got was my name across my waist in white ink. You can only see it when I have a tan. It was mainly a test.” To the side of this, he has got the message inked, “Only God can judge me.”
Ibrahimovic has inked the birthdates of all his family members, including his parents, wife, and two sons on both of his wrists.
The superstar made a clean breast in his book ‘I am Zlatan’ that getting inked became like a drug for him. Ibrahimović said getting a tattoo provided him with a “boost” – even though he once could not hold the thought of one.
He added, “I was against them in the beginning. Thought they were in bad taste. But I got tempted anyway.”
A noticeable fact about the Swedish footballer is that he is worth upwards of $200 million and all of that money has allowed him to amass quite an impressive car collection. His latest ride is a rare Ferrari Monza SP2.
Zlatan is no stranger to driving expensive cars and is known to also own a LaFerrari and a Porsche 918 Spyder.
In general, Zlatan owns a Laferrari ($2.2 million), Lamborghini Gallardo ($20, 2000), Ferrari Monza SP2 ($1.75 million), Porsche 918 Spyder ($845,000), Ferrari Enzo ($3 million), Volvo XC90 ($49,345), and Maserati GranTurismo ($107,000).
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Zlatan net worth and salary
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of the most recognizable names in the world of international soccer, so it’s no surprise that he has a massive net worth. He is generally ranked along with the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and if you ask him, there is no question that Zlatan is the greatest player of all time.
The final fact is about Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s net worth, which is around $195 million as of 2020. In the beginning of 2020, Ibrahimovic made a return to Italy, signing an initial six-month, $3.9 million deal with his former club, AC Milan, while he was 38 years old.
Most soccer players end their playing careers during their mid-30s, but simply put, Ibrahimovic is unlike most other footballers.
According to reports, Ibrahimović earns an estimated $10 million per year on his endorsements alone. At the peak of his popularity, he had endorsement contracts with Nike, Microsoft Xbox, Nivea, Samsung, and Volvo.