In his native Sweden, Zlatan is the only player awarded with the prestigious Guldbollen six times (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011). Guldbollen is a Swedish football award given once a year by the Swedish Football Association and the newspaper Aftonbladet to the best male Swedish football player.
Zlatan has several nicknames, including Ibra, Ibracadabra, Ibra Supermacy and Il Genio. In most Slavic languages, Zlatan means golden.
Zlatan started playing for Malmö BI at the age of 17, and he eventually dropped out of Football High school to focus full-time on his football career. After a few stints with BK Flagg and FBK Balkan, Zlatan joined Malmö FF in 1994. In 1999, Zlatan made his top-tier league debut with Malmö FF. However, Malmö FF was relegated from the top-tier after that season, so Zlatan spent the next season playing for Malmö FF in second-tier Superettan.
In 2001 Zlatan was transferred to Ajax in the Netherlands. During his first season with Ajax, he played 24 matches and scored six goals. In 2004 he was transferred to Juventus in Italy where he stayed until 2006. The next transfer took place with in Italy, from Juventus to Inter. Zlatan made his debut with Inter in a match against Fiorentina and scored a goal. Juventus went on to win the Italian Championships in 2006/2007 with Zlatan scoring 15 goals during the season – the highest number of any Inter player that season. During the season of 2008/2009, Zlatan made the largest amount of goals of any Serie A-player, a stunning 25 goals of which 2 where penalty kicks.
In 2009, the Spanish football club FC Barcelona paid €46 million to transfer Zlatan from Inter to FC Barcelona, and as a part of the agreement FC Barcelona also committed to releasing Samuel Eto’o (valued at €20 millions). Zlatan’s first league match for FC Barlecona took place on Barcelona’s home arena Camp Nou against Sporting de Gijón and ended 3-0 with Zlatan scoring a goal in the final minutes. In 2010, Zlatan signed a three year long contract with his third Italian football club – AC Milan. He scored his first goal for AC Milan in a match against Laszio.
- Zlatan was born in Sweden in 1981 and grew up in Rosengård, a low-income area in Malmö (Sweden’s third largest city).
- Zlatan’s father Sefik is of Bosnian descent, while Zlatan’s mother Jurka comes from Croatia.
- Ibrahimović is a Muslim Arabian surname, but Zlatan is catholic.
- Zlatan got his first football shoes at the age of five.
- Zlatan lives with his girlfriend Helena Seger and they have two children, Maximilian born in 2006 and Vincent born in 2008.
- In 2007, Zlatan and Nike paid to fix up the football field in Rosengård where Zlatan played as a child. The football field now has a plastic carpet made from recycled football shoes and has been renamed Zlatan Court.