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Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Off His Swede

It’d be unreasonable to suggest that Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been anything but prolific in front of goal. The Swedish hit man has over 320 goals to show from fewer than 600 games in all competitions, during a 15-year career that shows no signs of petering out just yet. Of course, his current club are still in the mix for a Champions League title, with Ibrahimovic a tantalising outside bet for top scorer at 80/1 with (if you still can’t make up your mind, there are plenty more betting tips to be found here). But, when it comes to self-confidence, it’d be far from unreasonable to suggest that Zlatan is ever short on a word or two of ego-inflating praise.

Sometimes infuriating, sometimes downright comical, you can always count on the current FIFA Puskás Award winner (given for global goal of the season) for controversial sound bites. His most recent comments have certainly had tongues wagging.

zlatan ibrahimovic

Dagens Nyheter, a Swedish daily newspaper, ran a poll in search of the greatest sporting Swede of all time (you can see where this is going, right?) Out of the 150 sports men and women ranked by the paper, Zlatan came a respectable second just behind tennis legend Björn Borg. Respectable, that is, unless you happen to be Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Eager to break the ‘good news’ to the PSG striker, Dagens Nyheter picked up the phone and gave him a bell – things did not go as planned. According to reports, Zlatan responded to the compliment by suggesting that he should’ve been selected in all top five positions – with due respect to the other athletes, of course. Seems fair, really; I mean, Borg only won five straight Wimbledon titles and six French Opens in his time. Hardly worth getting out of bed for.

Now, if it weren’t Sweden’s target man making those comments, you’d be forgiven for marking it down as a one-off rant but this man’s got an impressive track record that goes before him. I’ve selected five of my favourites below.

First off, Norwegian front man John Carew made the mistake of criticising Zlatan and his style of play. When asked what he thought about those comments, Ibra came back with the classic line, ‘What Carew can do with a football, I can do with an orange.’

Secondly, you’d think that a man with as much money as Zlatan could afford to be a generous soul. That might well be the case most of the time but it would seem not with his wife. Quizzed as to what he’d bought his better half for her birthday Ibrahimovic kept things nice and simple, saying, ‘Nothing, she already has Zlatan.’

Next up in the firing line is former manager Pep Guardiola. Comparing Pep to José Mourinho, he suggested that, ‘Mourinho is Guardiola’s opposite. If Mourinho brightens up the room, Guardiola pulls down the curtains and I guess that Guardiola now tried to measure himself with him.’ Cutting.

And, as you might expect, the big Swede isn’t keen on having to prove himself to anybody. ‘Arsène Wenger asked me to have a trial with Arsenal when I was 17. I turned it down. Zlatan doesn’t do auditions.’

Finally, the PSG number nine doesn’t do house hunting in quite the same way as most of us. As a recent addition to the Paris Saint-Germain squad, Zlatan was on the lookout for a new pad. ‘We are looking for an apartment (in Paris), if we do not find anything, then we will just buy a hotel’, he claimed. What a novel approach.

Whether you love him or hate him, at least Ibra has an opinion, and we’ll never get tired of characters in the game, will we?

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