Zlatan Ibrahimović, the Swedish football icon, has left an indelible mark on European football with his successful stints at various prestigious clubs, including Ajax, Juventus, Inter and PSG. Known for his immense talent and charismatic personality, Ibrahimovic has delivered exceptional performances throughout his career.
Malmö FF (1999–2001)
La Galaxy (2018–2019)
Club football: 637 matches, 405 goals
National team: 122 matches, 62 goals
Zlatan Ibrahimović was born on October 3, 1981, in Malmö, Sweden. Growing up in the Rosengård district, a predominantly immigrant neighborhood, Zlatan faced several challenges concerning his social life. His love for football began to flourish at an early age and he starting his career with local club Malmö FF's youth team. Ibrahimovic would quickly showcase his exceptional talent and was promoted to the senior squad at just 17 years old.
His remarkable performances caught the attention of scouts from across Europe. In 2001, Zlatan joined AFC Ajax and made an immediate impact, helping the Dutch team winning two consecutive Eredivisie titles. His spectacular technical skills on the field earned him a reputation as one of Europe's most promising forwards.
Zlatan Ibrahimović's success in European clubs
After the professional journey began with Ajax Amsterdam in 2001, his extraordinary goal-scoring abilities earned him moves to top-tier clubs such as Juventus, Inter, Barcelona, and Paris Saint-Germain.
During the period in Juventus and Inter (2004-2009), he became a key figure in both club – he would score 16 goals in in his Serie A first season and Juventus would also become champions the same season. In Inter Milan, Zlatan would be part of great success with three consecutive league titles.
Ibrahimovic then moved to Barcelona where he formed a formidable attacking trio alongside Lionel Messi and Samuel Eto'o. His time in the club would be unpleasant, often on the bench instead for in the string eleven. He was not getting along with the manager Pep Guardiola and would return to Italy, and this time AC Milan, for another two seasons (the first as a loan).
The next adventure would take him to France and Paris. During his time at Paris Saint-Germain, Ibrahimovic reached new heights by winning four consecutive Ligue 1 titles while becoming the club's all-time leading scorer.
The long career would also include an attempt in USA, which lasted two seasons at LA Galaxy, before ending his journey in Italy.
Ibrahimovic's impact on the Swedish national team
Zlatan Ibrahimović, undoubtedly one of Sweden's greatest footballers, has left an indelible mark on the national team. His impact transcends mere statistics and extends into the realm of inspiration and leadership. Ibrahimovic's presence on the pitch instills confidence and a belief in victory among his teammates. With his supreme skills and athleticism, he has single-handedly turned games around for Sweden, most memorable in a game against England on 14 November 2012 in which he score all four goals for Sweden against England’s two.
Ibrahimovic embodies determination, perseverance, and an unwavering passion for the sport. Moreover, Ibrahimovic's influence extends beyond the playing field. He has become an iconic figure who unites the nation through his performances in major tournaments and also a brand outside the field.
Legacy and off-field contributions
Renowned for his unyielding determination and unwavering self-confidence, Ibrahimovic has both inspired countless aspiring athletes worldwide and, likely, provoked some in the process. His unique playing style, characterized by acrobatic goals and audacious skills, has forever etched his name in football folklore.
By Anthony Ingle