Biography

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a Swedish footballer currently at Manchester United. Find out more about Zlatan in our in-depth biography

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic Photo: Tag Heuer

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a Swedish footballer who currently plays for Premier League club Manchester United.

The retired Sweden international moved to the Red Devils on a free transfer from French side Paris Saint-Germain in 2016.

Ibrahimovic has played for Malmo, Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, PSG and Manchester United during a decorated career.

The veteran striker has won top-flight titles in the Netherlands, Italy and Spain but Zlatan is still waiting to get his hands on the Champions League trophy.

Ibrahimovic is Sweden’s record goal-scorer after netting 62 times in 116 appearances for his national team.

He represented Sweden at the World Cup in 2002 and 2006. Ibrahimovic was also present at the European championships in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016.

Personal Information:

Date of birth: 3 October 1981
Age: 36 years old
Place of birth: Malmo, Sweden
Nationality: Swedish
Height: 195cm / 6ft 5ins
Weight: 94.8kg / 209 lbs
Wages: £125,000 a week

Facebook: ZlatanIbrahimovic
Instagram: iamzlatanibrahimovic
Twitter: ibra_official/

Malmo FF

Photo: Zlatan Ibrahimovic / Instagram

Zlatan started his career with his hometown club Malmo FF, where he played for their underage teams before breaking into the senior side.

At the age of 17, Ibrahimovic was a regular in Malmo FF’s team but couldn’t help the club avoid relegation to the second tier.

While he attracted interest from Arsenal as a teenager, Zlatan opted to complete a move to Ajax in 2001.

Ajax (2001-04)

Ibrahimovic underlined his doubted talent during a three-season spell at Ajax.

Zlatan scored six times in 24 games under Ajax manager Ronald Koeman to help the Dutch giants win the top-flight title.

He scored on his Champions League debut at the start of his second season with the Eredivisie outfit, finding the net against Lyon. He ended up with five goals in Europe’s top tier competition in the 2002-03 campaign.

Zlatan scored one of his most famous goals in a 2-1 win against NAC Breda to attract interest from some top clubs. He scored 13 times in 22 league games to win his second Eredivisie title with Ajax.

Juventus (2004-06)

Photo: Zlatan Ibrahimovic / Instagram

Juventus signed Ibrahimovic in a £16m deal from Ajax on 31 August 2004.

Zlatan scored a credible 16 times in his first season in Serie A to make a smooth transition to the Italian top flight.

The centre-forward netted seven goals in his second campaign in Turin and three times in the Champions League having failed to find the net in Europe in his first season at Juventus.

Ibrahimovic won two Serie A titles with Juventus, but the Turin side were later stripped of their two top-flight crowns in the Calciopoli scandal. Juventus were relegated to Serie B as punishment.

Inter Milan (2006-09)

Unsurprisingly, Ibrahimovic didn’t stick with demoted Juventus and the towering striker completed a £24m move to Inter Milan in 2006.

Zlatan scored on his Serie A debut for Nerazzurri in a 3-2 victory over Fiorentina. He netted in a dramatic 4-3 win against AC Milan in his first taste of the San Siro derby.

He chipped in with 15 goals in 27 games to help Inter win the Serie A crown in his first season under Roberto Mancini.

Zlatan reached the milestone of 100 Serie A games in his second season at Inter. The Italian champions rewarded Ibrahimovic with a new contract to make him the best paid player in the world.

He produced his best return for a season in his fledgling career when he netted 17 times in 26 games to help Mancini’s Inter side retain their Serie A title.

The 2008-09 campaign saw a change of management when Jose Mourinho replaced Mancini at the San Siro. Ibrahimovic netted 25 times in 35 games in Serie A to help the Portuguese coach win the title in his first season in charge at Inter.

The Swedish striker won Serie A goal of the season for a back heel flick in a 2-1 home win against Bologna. He finished the season as the Football of the Year.

Barcelona (2009-10)

Ibrahimovic completed a £59m move to Barcelona from Inter Milan on 26 July 2009. He was presented to 60,000 fans at Camp Nou.

Zlatan made his competitive debut in Barcelona’s 5-1 win against Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Super Cup and provided an assist for Lionel Messi in the landslide win.

Ibrahimovic netted on his La Liga debut in 3-0 win over Sporting Gijon. His brilliant start continued in 2009-10 with five goals in his opening five Spanish top flight games – a record for Barcelona.

He returned from a thigh problem to score in a 4-2 win over Real Madrid in El Clasico at Camp Nou but there were murmurings of discontent between Ibrahimovic and his manager Pep Guardiola.

Zlatan netted 16 times in 29 games in La Liga to help Barcelona win the Spanish top-flight crown. However, the striker only scored four goals in the Champions League as Barcelona lost to his former side Inter Milan in the semi-finals.

He finished with 22 goals in 46 games in all competitions during his one season at Camp Nou.

AC Milan (2010-12)

Photo: Zlatan Ibrahimovic / Instagram

Ibrahimovic secured a return to Serie A on loan to AC Milan for the 2010-11 season. The seven-time European champions had the option to make the deal permanent at the end of the 12-month loan term.

Zlatan, unusually, missed a penalty on his Milan debut in a 2-0 loss to minnows Cesena. However, he soon opened his account with a goal against Auxurre in the Champions League in September 2010.

Having previously represented Inter Milan, Ibrahimovic scored a winner against his former club in the Milan derby at San Siro.

He finished with 14 goals in 29 league games to help Milan win the Serie A title in his first season with Rosaneri.

Naturally, Milan made Ibrahimovic’s switch permanent in 2011. He scored his first goal of the 2011-12 season against his old employers Inter in a Italian Super Cup triumph.

Ibrahimovic scored in both Milan’s opening Serie A and Champions League games of the campaign.

Zlatan had the chance to get one over former boss Guardiola and Barcelona in the Champions League group stage with a goal in a 3-2 loss to the Spanish side in November.

He produced another big European performance with a goal in Milan’s 4-0 win against Arsenal in the quarter-finals.

Ibrahimovic produced his best return for a Serie A season with 28 goals in 32 games. The Swedish forward netted five goals in 10 outings in the Champions League.

Paris Saint-Germain (2012-16)

Zlatan was on the move once again on 17 July 2012 when he completed a £20m move to Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain.

Given his European experience, Ibrahimovic didn’t take long to leave his mark on the French top flight. Indeed, he scored twice in a 2-2 draw with Lorient on his Ligue 1 debut.

PSG cantered to the French title thanks in part to 30 goals in 34 league games from Zlatan. The Swedish striker was named Ligue 1’s player of the season thanks to his instrumental performances.

Ibrahimovic, who was handed the No10 shirt midway through the season, scored in a 2-2 draw with Barcelona in the Champions League last 16 but the Spanish side progressed on away goals after a 1-1 stalemate at Camp Nou.

He extended his contract until 2016 at the start of his second season at Parc des Princes. He scored Ligue 1’s goal of the season form the 2013-14 season with an audacious overhead volley in 4-0 win over Bastia.

Zlatan achieved a number of milestones in the campaign. He scored his 100th Champions League goal in a 2-1 win over Olympiacos.

Ibrahimovic surpassed Carlos Bianchi’s record of 39 goals in a season after he finished the campaign 41 goals in all competitions. PSG won their second successive Ligue 1 crown with Ibrahimovic but fell short in the Champions League once again.

In his third season in the French capital, Ibrahimovic helped PSG to reach the Champions League quarter-finals after an aggregate on away goals. However, the towering striker earned a red card in the round of 16 clash at Chelsea to rule him out of the quarter-final first leg. PSG lost 5-1 to Barcelona over two legs.

While Zlatan only netted 30 times in his third campaign at PSG, the charismatic striker produced something special for his final season in France.

Ibrahimovic scored a staggering 50 goals in 51 games, including 38 goals in 31 outings in Ligue 1. He won the domestic treble in his last campaign at PSG after triumphing in Ligue 1, Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue.

Manchester United (2016-current)

Photo: Zlatan Ibrahimovic / Instagram

Manchester United signed Ibrahimovic on a free transfer on 1 July 2016.

The Swedish legend was handed the number nine shirt at the expense of Anthony Martial.

Ibrahimovic scored the winning goal in a 2-1 win over Leicester City in the Community Shield at Wembley. He netted on his Premier League debut with a long-range goal in a 3-1 victory over Bournemouth. Zlatan found the net on his FA Cup debut at Blackburn, too.

His first Manchester United hat-trick came in a 3-0 win over French club Saint-Etienne in the Europa League last 32.

Ibrahimovic scored his second goal of the League Cup final – and the winner – to secure a dramatic 3-2 victory over Southampton in the final minutes of normal time at Wembley.

He was named as one of the PFA player of the year candidates in April 2016 following a return of 17 goals in 28 Premier League games.

His season was cut short when he suffered a serious knee problem in a 2-1 extra-time win over Anderlecht in the Europa League last eight. Zlatan was denied the chance to win his first European trophy in his hometown due to injury but Manchester United managed to beat his former club Ajax in the final.

Ibrahimovic was re-signed in August 2017 to another one year deal. He was given the number 10 shirt after Romelu Lukaku was signed from Everton.

Zlatan made his return from the knee problem in a 4-1 win against Newcastle on 18 November as a second-half substitute. A week later, he became the first player to feature for seven different clubs in the Champions League when he featured in a 1-0 loss to Basel.

His first goal of the 2017-18 season came in a 2-1 loss to Championship side Bristol City in the League Cup last four.

International career

Photo: Zlatan Ibrahimovic / Instagram

Ibrahimovic had the choice betwen Sweden, Bosnia and Herzegovina or Croatia at international level. Zlatan opted to represent Sweden.

He made his Sweden debut in a 0-0 draw with the Faroe Islands on January 2001.

He got his first taste of a major tournament at the 2002 World Cup. Sweden lost to Senegal in the first knockout round.

Zlatan’s Euro 2004 went substantially better. He scored in a 5-0 win over Bulgaria before he scored an unforgettable overhead goal in a man of the match performance in a 1-1 draw with Italy. His goal of the tournament helped Sweden to reach the last eight following a stalemate with Denmark in the final group game. However, Sweden lost to the Netherlands in the quarter-final on penalties with Zlatan missing his spot-kick effort.

Ibrahimovic didn’t score at the 2006 World Cup but ended a two-year goal drought with a goal in another match of the match performance against Greece. He scored his second goal of the tournament in a 1-1 draw with Spain but Sweden failed to get out of the group after a loss to Russia.

Zlatan was named in the Euro 2012 team of the tournament despite Sweden’s elimanation at the group stage. He scored against Ukraine and France.

Ibrahimovic didn’t feature at the 2014 World Cup after Sweden failed to qualify.

He became Sweden’s all-time record goal-scorer with his 50th goal against Estonia in September 2014. He made his 100th appearance against Austria four days later.

Ibrahimovic scored Sweden’s winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Denmark to seal their place at Euro 2016. While he scored 11 goals to help Sweden reach the tournament in France, he couldn’t find the net as his country crashed out in the group stage.

On 18 June, Ibrahimovic announced his retirement after 62 goals in 116 games.

Personal life

Ibrahimović was born in Sweden to a Muslim Bosniak father, Šefik Ibrahimović. His dad emigrated to Sweden in 1977 where he met Zlatan’s mother.

Jurka, who had also emigrated to Sweden, is a Croatian Catholic to give the striker plenty of possibilities when it came to choosing his national team allegiance.

Ibrahimovic is in a relationship with longtime partner is Helena Seger. The pair have two sons: Maximilian (born 22 September 2006) and Vincent (born 6 March 2008).

Interesting facts about Zlatan Ibrahimovic

• Ibrahimovic has an honorary black belt in taekwondo; he attended classes at the Malmo Taekwondo club Enighet as a child.

• Ibrahimovic was all set to move from Malmo to Arsenal but he refused when Gunners manager Arsene Wenger insisted for trial.

• He is one of the two players, along with Cristiano Ronaldo, to have scored a goal in every minute of a football match during their careers.

• Zlatan is also the only player to score in the Champions League with six different teams: Ajax, Juventus, Internazionale, Barcelona, Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.

• Ronaldinho is the only other player to have scored at least a goal in Derby della Madonnina in Italy, El Clásico in Spain and Le Classique in France.

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