In Malmö, Zlatan Ibrahimovic gets angry with his fans

It took only a few hours for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, in all his majesty, to find himself wearing a blue garbage bag, his arm adorned with a toilet seat. Unable to testify verbally to the former Swedish striker, fans Malmö FF, his first club, attacked his bronze statue, inaugurated on October 8, in front of Swedbank stadium.

At the origin of their wrath: the announcement, Wednesday, November 27, in the morning, the participation of the football player in the capital of the club Hammarby, one of the sworn enemies of Malmö FF.

Since he announced on November 13 his departure from LA Galaxy at the end of the year – encouraging his American fans to "return to watching baseball" – rumors were rife about the future of the player.

Surprise, Tuesday, November 26: On his Instagram account, Zlatan posted a short video, showing the green and white jersey of Hammarby, with his name written in black on the back. Several newspapers report that the president and sports chief of the Stockholm club were seen the day before, in Los Angeles.

The information finally fell on Wednesday morning: Zlatan does not join the club Hammarby, third in the Allsvenskan, the Swedish championship, just behind Malmö FF. He became co-owner, after taking control of a quarter of its capital, sold by Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), also owner of LA Galaxy.


A statue of former Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was inaugurated on October 8 in Malmö in the presence of the footballer and many fans. JOHAN NILSSON / AFP

On the Hammarby website, Zlatan explains that he has "Always loved the club and its fans" and that he is " impressed " by its services, "On and off the field ". Words that are all the more difficult to swallow for fans of Malmö, as in a newspaper interview Aftonbladet, the footballer claims that Hammarby is "The club with the most potential to become the biggest in Scandinavia".

The reactions were not long in coming. Malmö Social Democrat Mayor Katrin Stjernfeldt-Jammeh, who on October 8 described him as one of the city's best ambassadors, calls his decision "Surprising and provocative for many Malmö residents". And to tackle the player, noting that"Being a good sportsman does not automatically mean being a good businessman, especially when the idea is to challenge Malmö FF".

A fan of the Malmö club for over twenty years, 47-year-old Tomas Ruzic launched an online petition on Wednesday morning. He asks that the statue of the footballer – "The owner of a rival club in Malmö" – either debunked and transferred elsewhere. At 8 pm she had collected more than 4,000 signatures.

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The comments, which accompany the text, are harsh: "He forgot where his heart is", regrets one of the signatories. "True legends abstain from selling their souls", reacts another. " traitor, how could you? ", questions a third. "The statue goes with the owner, it's time to send it to hipster countries", note a fourth.

In the evening, a video began circulating on social networks. She shows masked men throwing on the statue of Bengal fires and covering her with white paint. Called on the scene, the police discovered, sprayed, on the concrete, the words "Cigani dö" – "gypsy", in Slavic, and "dies" in Swedish.

In Stockholm, for the moment, the reactions remain cautious. "I think and I hope it will be rewarding for Hammarby and not a coup de com from Zlatan"said Jonas Karlsson Ölin, the president of the supporters' club.

In the meantime, the 38-year-old former LA Galaxy forward has not yet revealed where he intends to play next season.


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