Last week while watching the England and Uruguay game, football fans would have noticed a very familiar face in the crowd. Zlatan Ibrahimovic had travelled to Brazil to watch the World Cup, a competition which he must be devastated to not be a part of.
Football fans all around the world would only have loved to have seen Zlatan in this summer’s competition for his footballing skill and style but also for his outspoken personality which he doesn’t hide in press conferences and any given media opportunity. Zlatan has in fact become so well known for his sarcastic and controversial quotes in the media that they have become known as ‘Zlatinisms’. Let’s take a look at some of his most famous moments in the media and his famous Zlatinisms.
10. Zlatan vs Henchoz
During Zlatan’s time at Ajax he was being marked by Stephane Henchoz in a game against Liverpool. Zlatan used his skill to outplay the defender on a number of occasions during the game and it left Henchoz embarrassed. Zlatan’s explained his ability to outplay the defender by saying,
“First I went left, he did too. Then I went right, he did too. Then I went left again and he went to get a hot dog”.
9. Zlatan’s New Purchase
During an interview a reporter asked Zlatan if it was true that he had purchased a super Porsche and Zlatan sarcastically replied with,
“Absolutely not, I have ordered a plane. It is much faster”.
8. Zlatan Style
During an interview a reporter was attempting to understand where Zlatan learned his playing style from and simply asked,
“Is your playing Swedish or Yugoslavian?”
Zlatan replied by stating,
“It’s Zlatan style.”
7. Zlatan’s Scars
Zlatan was sat in a press conference when a reporter noticed a few scratches on his face and asked,
“You’ve got some scars on your face Zlatan, what has happened?”
Zlatan calmly replied with
“Well I don’t know, you’ll have to ask your wife about that”.
6. Zlatan’s Wife
Zlatan is married to former Swedish model Helena Seger who he also has two sons with. Zlatan was being interviewed by the press around the time of his wife’s birthday when a reporter asked him,
“What did you get your wife for her birthday?”
Zlatan replied by confidently saying,
“Nothing, she already has Zlatan.”
5. Balotelli’s Fireworks
In 2011, then Manchester City striker was reported to have let off fireworks in his bathroom which led to a fire in his home causing serious fire and smoke damage. Zlatan took an opportunity to have his say on the incident by explaining that,
“I like fireworks too but I set them off in gardens or kebab stands. I never set fire to my own house.”
4. Zlatan vs Carew
In 2002, Norwegian striker John Carew publicly criticised Zlatan by saying that Zlatan’s “good luck charms were useless”. Zlatan replied by telling a Norwegian tabloid,
“What Carew does with a football, I can do with an orange”.
3. Zlatan vs Barcelona
During his time at Barcelona, Zlatan was quite open about the fact that he didn’t like the way of life at the Catalan club and believed that many of their rules were similar to being back at school. Zlatan told the media of one rebellious incident that he felt the need to do during his time there.
“At Barca, players were banned from driving their sports car to training. I thought this was ridiculous. It was no one’s business what car I drove so in April, before a match with Almeria, I drove my Ferrari Enzo to work. It caused a scene.”
2. Zlatan Rejects Arsenal
As a youngster, Zlatan was being monitored by Arsenal and was offered an opportunity to have a trial at the club. Zlatan rejected the offer and later in his career explained his reasons for rejecting the London club’s offer. Zlatan stated,
“Arsene Wenger asked me to have a trial with Arsenal when I was 17. I turned it down, Zlatan doesn’t do auditions”.
1.Zlatan vs Beckham
Following David Beckham’s announcement that he would donate all of his wages to a children’s charity in Paris during his five-month contract with PSG, Zlatan responded by explaining how he would donate all of his wages to Zlatan*.
“Who is most deserving of all the money that I, Zlatan, am paid? The answer is Zlatan. The children of Paris are not leading Ligue 1 in goals this season. I am. I have 20 goals. The next best player is twelve. Twelve! If anything, the children of Paris should be giving me even more money for having the privilege of being in the same city as my incredible quality. And so should David Beckham. Call it a Zlaritable donation.”
Love him or hate him, Zlatan is one of the most interesting characters in modern football and more Zlatanisms are bound to occur in the near future. If you want to keep up to the date with the man himself then follow him on Twitter at @Ibra_official and do share any other Zlatan stories that weren’t mentioned above.
Sarah Fitzpatrick, Pundit Arena.
*Although the last quote was never officially confirmed, we would like to believe it is true. After all, the man is a legend.