Though Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored goals at every stopalong his career, the mercurial forward hasn’t always been a fan favorite. Some are bothered by his playingstyle, others by his perceived ego. But - love him or hate him - here are a few things you should know aboutthe Swedish striker ahead of his anticipated visit to RFK on July 28.
He is…THE MONEYMAN
No player in the history of soccer has commanded more moneyin transfer fees than Ibrahimovic. Through moves from Malmo to Ajax to Juve to Inter to Barca to Milanbefore finally landing in Paris, the Swede saw over 171 million Euros changehands in exchange for his services. Second on the ‘player who has drawn the most in transfer fees’ list isFrenchman Nicolas Anelka (€134 million).He is…A REGISTERED TRADEMARK
Yes, Zlatan Ibrahimovic actually trademarked his ownname. The 30-year-old has aCommunity trademark (a trademark valid across the European Union) on ‘Zlatan’and ‘Zlatan Ibrahimovic’. It apparentlyapplies to a wide range of goods and services including hair care products,vehicles, beer and clothing. To befair, he isn’t the only European star to make such a move. Both Wayne Rooney and Karim Benzema alsohave their names registered.
He lost…THE FIGHT
In November of 2010, Ibrahimovic – then with AC Milan – wasinvolved in a famous training ground fight with American defender OguchiOnyewu. The altercation was sofierce that the rest of the practice session had to be suspended and it tooknearly a dozen teammates and staff to separate the combatants. Later, in his autobiography entitled I Am Zlatan, Ibrahimovic claimed he hadbroken a rib during the scuffle.
He doesn’t like…PEP GUARDIOLA
Ibra offered up some great one-liners in his aforementionedautobiography, but none drew more attention than what he had to say aboutformer Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola. In the book, Ibrahimovic claims he told Guardiola that the Barca coach was so afraid of Jose Mourinho’s arrival at Real Madrid that he was going to soil himself. He also went on to call Messi, Xavi andIniesta ‘schoolboys’.
He does like…WINNING
Until this past year, when Juventus edged out Ibrahimovic’sAC Milan for the Serie A title, the Swede’s club teams have won their domestictitle in each of the last eight seasons. The trend started with Ajax in 2003-2004 and continued over the nextfive campaigns at both Juventus and Inter Milan. During his one season at Barcelona, the Catalan club won LaLiga before Ibra triumphantly returned to Serie A in 2010-2011. It should be noted that the two Juvetitles were eventually stripped because of a match-fixing scandal.