Goals, trophies and arrogant personality make Ibrahimovic a superstar; and great competition and motivation help him play the role of a role model.
One day in September 2003, in the match against San Marino in the Euro 2004 qualifying round, the Swedish national team was awarded a second penalty. Kim Jallstrom – who scored the first goal in the match from the 11 m mark – was assigned to continue to perform the task.
Suddenly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic , who was then 21 years old, stepped forward and snatched the ball to take the penalty. He succeeded, making it 5-0. However, no one was in the same mood to celebrate with Ibrahimovic, the striker disobeying orders and worse, putting himself above the team.
A player who goes against the rules
Ibrahimovic is like that. A smug and insolent player. He doesn’t like to follow the rules. Who doesn’t hate anyone. The one who has extravagant statements , always saying that he will become the best player in the world.
As a child, Ibrahimovic even stole a bicycle, threw eggs at the window, joking that he had a gun in his pocket at airport security. He also pretended to be a police officer to arrest a person who he and his friends suspect to be a prostitute. Turns out, it was the priest trying to help the sex workers.
In his autobiography “I am Zlatan” (I am Zlatan), Ibrahimovic wrote: “I am a small guy with a big nose, a slurred speech, and speech therapy. A woman came to see me at the hospital. school and taught me how to pronounce the letter ‘S’. I thought it was humiliating and I figured I had to prove myself.”
Ibrahimovic has done that on the pitch. His talent was revealed early on. While playing for local club Balkan, where there are anecdotes that Ibrahimovic was soon called up for an Under-12 game, even though he was only 10 years old at the time. That day, Ibrahimovic’s team was leading 0-4. The coach decided to put the Swedish striker on the field. As a result, Ibrahimovic scored all 8 goals, helping the home team win 8-5 back.
Ibrahimovic has talent but attitude is not always right. At times, he was very lazy. While working out with his teammates in Malmo, Ibrahimovic placed himself in last place, then jumped on the bus, waited until the players passed and then rejoined the group in the back.
However, Ibrahimovic rose to stardom, becoming a “tree of life” in the football world. Referring to him is referring to a player rich in competition, high determination. The player is willing to do everything to become the healthiest person possible.
In the later stages of his career – from his days at PSG – Ibrahimovic became a role model for his teammates. Marco Verratti, who played with Ibrahimovic at PSG, said: “At PSG, it was impressive to see him (Ibrahimovic – PV) train like an 18-year-old. Ibrahimovic is an example to follow in the dressing room. He’s a leader. Sometimes, just watching Ibrahimovic train, you want to do more.”
Paul Clement, a former assistant coach at PSG, told the Guardian in 2014 that Ibrahimovic was “an extraordinary player with capacity, character, strength, toughness”. is considered the key to helping him maintain his longevity, extending his career until the age of 41.
“I remember Ibrahimovic doing one of the most unbelievable training sessions I’ve ever seen ,” said Clement. “Remember, it was a few days after Ibrahimovic returned to the club from the national team, when he scored 4 goals against England (November 2012 – PV). The last goal he scored for the Swedish national team in The match against England, it can be said that it was beyond imagination. When he returned to the club, Ibrahimovic was still very satisfied.”
According to Mr. Clement, PSG’s training session was divided into small groups, fighting style 5 vs 5. Ibrahimovic, even though he had just played in the national team, still showed very high quality, intensity and motivation. He even scored with a “light table” similar to the situation of tearing the net for England.
“Everybody just stood there with their mouths open,” Mr. Clement recalls.
Ibrahimovic’s greatest legacy
For a long time, Ibrahimovic has always been in the top 10 best players in the world. Although the Swedish striker is not yet able to match Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, he is still a player worth watching on the pitch.
In fact, Ibrahimovic is a strange case of world football. He is like the king “Midas” touches gold everywhere, except the Champions League. From the Netherlands, Italy, Spain to France, any club Ibrahimovic goes to, he will win the championship.
Ibrahimovic also has no shortage of moments of his life on the pitch, such as a heel strike against Italy, a “light table” phase from more than 36 meters that hit England’s net or a “unique” volley scored for LA Galaxy.
Off the field, no player has as many arrogant statements as Ibrahimovic. He once said that it was “ridiculous” to compare men’s and women’s football. Instead, Ibrahimovic believes female players can get “a bike with his signature”. That statement was made by Ibrahimovic after a debate in Sweden about why the male player was given a car for breaking the all-time record, while the female player was not.
Ibrahimovic also told basketball legend LeBron James that athletes should stay away from politics. And yet, he often calls himself “God”. Ibrahimovic frequently makes himself the center of the universe. People who go against the rules. The challenger of all.
“Just boo. You guys are lucky to witness this moment ,” Ibrahimovic replied to many fans present on the San Siro stadium on June 5 when he said goodbye to his football career.
Goals and assists make Ibrahimovic a legend. An outstanding striker of world football. People will easily find specific statistics on the number of goals Ibrahimovic has scored with just a few clicks of the mouse. However, Ibrahimovic’s great legacy cannot be proved by numbers.
Ibrahimovic may not be your typical Swede, but his strong personality and strong desire make him a role model for generations of immigrants back home, giving them hope that anything is possible. . Even if you grow up in a dilapidated house in a poor suburb, with a strong will, a bright future will come.
For a country, that is priceless.