As featured on NewsNow: Football news

​Ibrahimovic explains how he became an icon with new statue

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has spoken about his journey in football that resulted in him becoming one of the great icons of the game.

The Swedish star was speaking on the unveiling of a statue in his honour in Malmo.

Ibrahimovic has starred for the likes of Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United in a glittering career.

He has often referred to himself as a lion in the game.

He told Expressen: "The statue means a lot.

"That's my legacy. That's what I've been through, what I stand for. It will become a symbol for those who feel just like I did, a symbol that you can succeed no matter where you come from, no matter what you look like, even if you feel different or don't feel welcome.

"Not just when it comes to football, it stands for so much more than just football players.

"Everyone who feels they need support, needs power, energy: just look at the statue, or come to the statue. It's proof that you can succeed if you believe in yourself.

"I'm no bigger than anyone else, it could be anyone. It's as simple as that. I'm not chosen or special in any way, I fought and believed in myself.

"When I started my career, it wasn't like I had someone who'd gone before me that I could ask.

"I remember asking Henrik Larsson: 'What should I do? How should I do it? Explain it to me'.

"He said very simply: 'No one has been in your shoes, no one has been in your situation. What should you do? You'll find that path yourself'.

"So I had no one I could lean on, or talk to about this. No one could explain to me how everything worked.

"I had to find the balance myself, I had to build self-confidence and find my own way. In all these aspects I chose to be myself."

About the author

Ansser Sadiq

Have your say

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

  1. Go Ad-Free
  2. Faster site experience
  3. Support great writing
  4. Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free