Zlatan Ibrahimović: everything you need to know about the Swedish footballer

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Zlatan Ibrahimović is one of the most internationally famous Scandinavian footballers. The Swedish-Bosnian sportsman is not only the record scorer for the Swedish national team, but has also received numerous awards. We have summarised everything about his life and his sporting career here.

Zlatan Ibrahimović
Football player

Zlatan Ibrahimović (born 3 October 1981 in Malmö) is a Swedish-Bosnian striker and player for the Sweden national football team. He was most recently under contract with AC Milan with a market value of around 5 million euros. At the end of the 2022/23 season he ended his career at the age of 41.

Born3 Oktober 1981 in Malmö
National teamSweden
Awards (selection)Guldbollen (12), FIFA/FIFPro World XI (1), UEFA Team of the Year (1), UEFA European Football Championship All-Star Team (1), FIFA Puskás Award (1)
Copyright and legal information: Author: Tasnim News Agency; Material: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zlatan_Ibrahimovi%C4%87#/media/Datei:Zlatan_Ibrahimovi%C4%87_June_2018.jpg; Licence: CC-BY 4.0, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/deed.de, unchanged.

Biography: Zlatan Ibrahimović’s life from 1981 to today

Childhood and youth in Malmö

Zlatan Ibrahimović: Childhood and Youth
Zlatan’s football career began in Malmö-Rosengård

Zlatan Ibrahimović was born in 1981 to a Croatian mother and a Bosnian father and grew up in Malmö’s Rosengård neighbourhood, which is considered as inner city as a result of social segregation. There, Zlatan completed a school education that was roughly equivalent to German lower secondary school. He then attended grammar school, but left early to pursue his football career.

Due to his bilingual childhood, he speaks variants of Serbo-Croatian, Swedish and today English, Spanish and Italian. According to his own statements, there were often problems at home as his father was an alcoholic and his mother struggled with mental health problems.

He has a biological sister and three half-siblings. One of his brothers died of leukaemia in 2014, whereupon Zlatan dedicated a speech at the Swedish Fotballsgalan to him and two athletes who died of cancer in the same year.


Zlatan Ibrahimović’s partner is Helena Seger, a Swedish businesswoman and former model. The couple has two children and owns an island in the Swedish lake Malären. In his private life, Zlatan Ibrahimović is an avid martial arts fan and practises taekwondo himself. According to him, it helps him to stay agile. He is also the author of the books Jag är Zlatan, I Am Football and Adrenalin: What I Haven’t Told You (original title: My Untold Story). He is a devout Catholic.

Social commitment

Zlatan Ibrahimović is known for his social commitment. He financed the construction of a football pitch in Rosengård, the neighbourhood where he spent his childhood.

In addition, he is said to have donated the equivalent of around 40,000 euros to the Swedish national team for people with intellectual disabilities in 2014 to enable them to travel to the World Cup, for which they had qualified.

Further, he worked with the United Nations World Food Programme to raise awareness of the issue. At the same time, in 2013, after David Beckham announced that he would donate five months of his salary to a children’s aid organisation, Zlatan said that he would donate to himself instead. As reported by Die Welt, he explained that he deserved the money the most.

Zlatan Ibrahimovíć in the cinema: biopic & film debut

The biopic I Am Zlatan / Jag är Zlatan, a film adaptation of Zlatan Ibrahimovíć’s autobiography of the same name, was released in Swedish cinemas in 2021. The film is about the football star’s turbulent youth and rapid rise to fame, played by Granit Rushiti. The documentary film Becoming Zlatan (original title: Den unge Zlatan) was previously released in 2015.

But Zlatan Ibrahimović himself has been on the big screen as well – in 2021, it was announced that he would be appearing in the fifth live-action film adaptation of the popular French comic series Asterix. In the film Asterix & Obelix – The Middle Kingdom, which was released in spring 2023, he took on the role of the Roman Caius Antivirus.

Career: from youth club to national team

After starting out in a youth team at Malmö-Rosengård, he moved to the youth section of Malmö FF in 1995 at the age of 14. Four years later, in 1999, he signed his first professional contract there. In 2001 he moved to Ajax Amsterdam and in 2004 to Juventus Turin. His market value increased. In addition, he was nominated for the FIFA World Player of the Year award one year after the transfer and received the Guldbollen as Sweden’s Footballer of the Year.

He played for Inter Milan from the 2006/2007 season to the 2008/2009 season. The team won the league title in both years. He then played one season for FC Barcelona and two seasons for AC Milan. This was followed by four seasons at Paris St. Germain, two at Manchester United and just under two years at the Los Angeles Galaxies before he returned to AC Milan. On 7 February 2021, he scored the 500th goal of his club career. In the summer of 2022, his contract was extended by another year, making him the oldest striker in the Italian league. At the end of the 2022/23 season he ended his football career at the age of 41.

After playing a few games for Sweden’s U18 and U21 teams, Zlatan Ibrahimović was called up for the Swedish national team for the first time in 2001 at the age of 20. He made his debut in January 2001 in a test match against the Faroe Islands. In the following years, he established himself in the national team and took part in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, as well as the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 European Championships. With 62 goals in 120 games, he is Sweden’s record goalscorer and has captained the team at times.

Zlatan Ibrahimović: Club Career
Zlatan Ibrahimović spent a lot of time in Italy during his club career.

Zlatan Ibrahimović’s club career

  • FBK Balkan Malmö (until 1995)
  • Malmö FF (1995-2001)
  • Ajax Amsterdam (2001-2004)
  • Juventus Turin (2004-2006)
  • Inter Milan (2007-2009)
  • FC Barcelona (2009-2010)
  • AC Milan (2010-2012)
  • Paris St Germain (2012-2016)
  • Manchester United (2016-2018)
  • Los Angeles Galaxy (2018-2019)
  • AC Milan (since 2019)

What is the market value of Zlatan Ibrahimović?

Zlatan Ibrahimović’s market value rose particularly around 2004/2005, when his advisor reported in the press that Real Madrid had offered 70 million for Zlatan Ibrahimović. His market value, which, according to transfermarkt.de, was around 2 million euros in 2022, was at times, around 2009, at 45 million euros.

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