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Zlatan Ibrahimović

Zlatan Ibrahimović biography
Photo: Meghdad Madadi / CC BY 4.0

Zlatan Ibrahimović biography

Zlatan Ibrahimović (October 3, 1981) professional footballer, is a striker for Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer of the United States. He was born in Malmö, Skåne Province, Sweden. Ibrahimović practiced soccer since he was 8 years old in amateur teams such as Malmö Boll & Idrottsförening, Bollklubben Flagg and Fotbollklubb Balkan, all of these belonging to his hometown. But when he was 15 years old, the family’s economic situation was complex and he had to leave his training to work in the docks of Malmö. After a while, the one who would be his agent convinced him and supported him to return to the training sessions.

As his agent had predicted, Zlatan had a great performance and was promoted to the youth team of Malmö F. F. in 1996, and three years later he was promoted to the first team. He had his first Allsvenskan debut on September 19, 1999, his team was in visiting status against Halmstads Bollklubb. Unfortunately, they were defeated in a tough game, the score was 2 to 1. Approximately one month later the Swedish footballer scored his first goal in the professional category assuring the victory to his club on the Västra Frölunda.

His performance in the first season was acceptable, with Malmö playing six games and scoring a goal in the league, his team finished in thirteenth place with twenty-four points, but, although the team improved with his arrival it was inevitable that they would descend to the second division. In the campaign of 2000, the Malmö was the runner-up of the Superettan and managed then to return to the first division. The improvement of the team was very remarkable, so much so that they finished the season in second place with sixty points product of eighteen victories, some defeats, and draws.

Ibra, as he is called in the world of football, was the top scorer of his team with twelve goals. Before the start of the 2001 season, they lost in the semi-finals against the A. I. K. Stockholm match played in the framework of the Swedish Cup. In the 2001 season, he had important interventions and was decisive to overcome several games. In total, he scored three goals in eight games and Malmö finished ninth in the league with thirty-two points. With the team played a total of forty games. He was included by the magazine Don Bola in the list of the 100 best young footballers in the world.

His cycle at Malmö ended, the Swedish footballer came to Juventus from Turin at the request of then coach Fabio Capello, the club paid 19 million euros. His debut in the Serie A came on September 12, 2004, against Brescia Calcio, a match that ended with the victory of Turin. His participation in this tournament was very remarkable, thirty-five matches scored sixteen goals, which made his team win the league title after twenty-six wins, eight draws, and four losses. Unfortunately, they did not get the same result in the Italian Cup and in the 2004-05 UEFA Champions League.

That same year he was named Foreign Player of the Year in the Serie A and received the award for the best Swedish footballer of the year: his first Guldbollen. However, in the 2005-06 season, his effectiveness was lower compared to his first season. His role in the team changed: he stopped being a scorer to contribute to the team in the creation of the game, especially as a reference player in attacking plays. Juventus revalidated their title obtained in the previous season in Serie A. In the Champions League finished first, which allowed the advance to the quarterfinals where they lost against England’s Arsenal.

In the Champions League Zlatan played nine games and scored three goals in the group stage. On the other hand, in the Italian Cup, he played two games and did not score. Due to the encounter manipulation scandal known as Calciopoli or Moggigate, the two Italian leagues won were revoked and Juventus was descending to Serie B. This situation affected him so much that he decided to leave the team and sign for Inter of Milan.

He arrived at Inter of Milan in mid-2006, was signed for 24.8 million euros. The player signed a four-year contract. He debuted with the neroazzurra shirt in the Supercopa de Italia, tournament that same year was won by winning 4 to 3 at Roma. However, in the 2006-07 season of Serie A he scored his first goal against Fiorentina, this goal gave the victory to his team. Thanks to his performance, they became champions of the Italian tournament, wherein twenty-seven matches he scored fifteen goals. He also played in the Champions League but did not score goals. His team was eliminated in the second round against Valencia.

In the 2007-08 season, he was a two-time champion of the Serie A. In the UEFA Champions League he again participated in seven and scored five goals in the group stage. The arrival of José Mourinho marked his last stage in Inter, in such period he won the Italian Super Cup by defeating Roma. One of the most significant moments was when he scored in 2008 a magnificent goal against Bologna F. C. was considered the «Goal of the Year». For the Cup, Italy played four games and scored three goals, but was eliminated in the semifinals against Sampdoria. Ibra had the opportunity to sign with F. C. Barcelona for five seasons. His first goal with the Catalan team came on August 31, 2009, in a match against Sporting de Gijón.

Although in the first season he scored 22 goals, the following season his underperformance, he received several questions from the sports press. But, despite his commitment and his desire to fulfill the Spanish team, statements from Pep Guardiola ensured that the player would stay in the club during the 2010-11 season. However, it was only taken into account to play a game against Sevilla F. C. in the Spanish Super Cup 2010 and then returned to Italy. He returned to Milan for two seasons. And then Ibra dressed in Paris Saint Germain’s outfit, he was a very decisive player. He finished the 2014 season with 41 goals in 46 games, of which twenty-six were in the league, ranked second as the tournament’s top scorer.

Until the year 2016 where he played for PSG and was very important giving great victories to this team. Later, on June 30, his arrival at Manchester United became official. He made his debut on the 7th of August for the Community Shield 2016, scoring his first goal, giving him the victory against Leicester City. Currently, he plays for Los Angeles Galaxy.

Zlatan has also been summoned to play for Sweden’s World Cup in Japan and Germany. This player is really a talented center forward, a conceptual player of the game, a scorer, and a complete striker with exceptional ability. The Swedish Football Association published a statement in which it announced that the player will not be in the World Cup in Russia.

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