Zlatan Ibrahimović the best player of all the time
Zlatan Ibrahimović (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈslǎːtan ɪbraˈhǐːmʊvɪtɕ]; Bosnian pronunciation: [zlǎtan ibraxǐːmoʋitɕ]; born 3 October 1981) is a Swedish professional footballer who plays as a striker for Serie A club Milan. Ibrahimović is widely regarded as one of the best strikers of his generation. He is one of the most decorated active footballers in the world,[note 1] having won 31 trophies in his career. He has scored over 540 career goals, and has scored in each of the last four decades.
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Zlatan Ibrahimović June 2018.jpg
Ibrahimović in 2018
Date of birth
3 October 1981 (age 38)
Place of birth
1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)
→ Milan (loan)
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* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:55, 8 March 2020 (UTC)
Ibrahimović began his career at Malmö FF in 1999, and signed for Ajax two years later. At Ajax, Ibrahimović gained a reputation as one of the most promising forwards in Europe, and departed two years later to sign for Juventus. He excelled in Serie A in a strike partnership with David Trezeguet, before joining domestic rivals Internazionale in 2006, where he won the Capocannoniere (Serie A top scorer) in 2008–09 and won three consecutive Serie A titles. In the summer of 2009, he moved to Barcelona in one of the world's most expensive transfers, before returning to Italy the following season, joining Milan. With them, he won another Serie A title in the 2010–11 season, before joining Paris Saint-Germain in July 2012. During his four-season stay in with them, Ibrahimović won a number of trophies including four consecutive Ligue 1 titles, and was the top scorer in Ligue 1 for three seasons. In October 2015, he became PSG's all time leading goalscorer at the time. In 2016, he joined Manchester United on a free transfer and won the FA Community Shield, Football League Cup and UEFA Europa League in his first season. Ibrahimović joined American club LA Galaxy in 2018. Two years later, he rejoined Milan.
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Ibrahimović is one of ten players to have made 100 or more appearances for the Swedish national team, over a 15-year international career. He is the country's all-time leading goalscorer with 62 goals. He represented Sweden at the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, as well as the 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 UEFA European Championships. He has been awarded Guldbollen (the Golden Ball), given to the Swedish player of the year, a record 11 times, including 10 consecutive times from 2007 to 2016. Ibrahimović's bicycle kick goal for Sweden against England won the 2013 FIFA Puskás Award.
Ibrahimović was named in the FIFA FIFPro World XI in 2013 and the UEFA Team of the Year in 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2014. He finished at a peak of fourth for the FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2013. In 2019, FourFourTwo magazine named him the third-greatest player never to win the UEFA Champions League. In December 2014, Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter ranked him the second-greatest Swedish sportsperson ever, after tennis player Björn Borg. Off the field, Ibrahimović is known for his brash persona and outspoken comments, in addition to referring to himself in the third person.
"I put up photos of Ronaldo in my room. Ronaldo was the man. He was what I wanted to be, a guy who made a difference. [...] Ronaldo was my hero and I studied him online and tried to take in his movements, and I thought I was getting to be an awesome player."
— From his autobiography, I Am Zlatan.
Ibrahimović was born in Malmö, Sweden, on 3 October 1981. He was born to a Muslim Bosniak father, Šefik Ibrahimović, who emigrated to Sweden in 1977, and a Catholic Croat mother, Jurka Gravić, who also emigrated to Sweden where the couple first met. His father was born in Bijeljina (in modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina), and his mother in the village of Prkos in Škabrnja, in the SFR Yugoslavia (modern-day Croatia). He had a Catholic Christian upbringing.
Ibrahimović began playing football at the age of six, after receiving a pair of football boots. He alternated between FBK Balkan, a Malmö club founded by Yugoslav immigrants, Malmö BI and briefly BK Flagg football clubs. While in his early teens, he was a regular for his hometown club Malmö FF. At the age of 15, Ibrahimović was close to quitting his football career, in favour of working at the docks in Malmö, but his manager convinced him to continue playing. As a kid growing up, his hero was Brazilian forward Ronaldo. An avid viewer of Italian football, prolific striker Gabriel Batistuta – a player with similar characteristics to himself – was another player he admired