The statue of Zlatan Ibrahimovic out of play


Too heavy for Stockholm

Commissioned by the Swedish Football Federation in 2015 from sculptor Peter Linde, the statue should have been erected in front of the Friends Arena in Solna, a suburb of Stockholm, where the Swedish team plays its home games. Officially, the ground was not solid enough to accommodate the eight tonnes of the base and the five hundred kilos of bronze. The Stockholm fans unofficially refused to see the former Malmö FF striker strut outside their stadium. Finally, the Federation gave it to the city of Malmö, where the footballer was born and raised, and of which he has become a symbol. The inauguration took place with great fanfare on October 8, 2019, in the presence of the interested party, in front of the Eleda stadium, stronghold of the MFF.

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Red card to new shareholder

While the Swede is back at AC Milan, the news falls on November 27: Zlatan confirms that he enters the capital of the Stockholm club Hammarby, one of the sworn enemies of the MFF, after the company Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) , owner of the Los Angeles Galaxy, sold him a quarter of the club's shares. The news is like a bomb in Sweden. For fans, the gesture is all the more difficult to accept that, in an interview, the former star of the MFF is indecent in claiming that Hammarby, third in the ranking of the Swedish championship, behind Malmö, is "The club with the most potential to become the largest in Scandinavia".

Serial attacks

A petition is immediately put online to request the unbolt of the statue. The bronze is covered with a trash bag and a toilet seat. In the evening, hooded men attacked him with Bengal gunfire. At the same time, in Stockholm, the wooden door of the footballer's residence is barred with a "Judas", written in white paint.

In the weeks that followed, the statue suffered multiple acts of vandalism. Finally, she collapsed during the night of January 4 to 5, her legs sawn, despite the barriers erected around by the police. The sculpture must be stored in a secret location.

A bronze at the height

Since the start of his career, he's been the player the Swedes love to hate. Whoever does nothing like the others, refuses to submit to the established rules, proclaims his greatness when Jante's law – this very Scandinavian code of conduct – calls for modesty. But there it is: Zlatan Ibrahimovic is also the greatest Swedish footballer in history. He needed a statue that lived up to the feelings he unleashed. For the artist Lars Vilks, ardent defender of "The art that provokes", targeted by a terrorist attack in Copenhagen in 2015, after having represented Muhammad in the form of a dog, acts of vandalism contribute to increase the value of the statue.


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