Zlatan Ibrahimovic is considered to be the most talented players in football. Ibra’s build and athleticism makes him one of the most feared for defenders.
Ibrahimovic was born in Sweden to immigrant parents from the former Yugoslavia. His mother was a cleaning lady and his father a property caretaker
There’s a story from Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s childhood that goes a long way toward explaining how a skinny, awkward boy would go on to become one of the best soccer players of his generation.
Ibrahimovic grew up poor, one of five children living in a dangerous housing project in the center of Malmo, Sweden’s third-largest city. He spoke with a lisp, was self-conscious about his big nose and admits he went to school mainly for the free lunches.
“My dad was never there,” Ibrahimovic said. “I looked after myself.
If he hadn’t found soccer, Ibrahimovic said, he may have wound up in prison. As a boy he was a talented thief, learning how to pick locks and steal bikes. He once stole his coach’s bicycle from outside his team’s locker room. He got a kick out of swiping stuff.
What Ibrahimovic really craved, though, was the recognition and respect he found on the dusty playing fields of the infamous Rosengard projects where he grew up.
You can’t do something brilliant unless you dare to be brilliant. Ibrahimovic is a perfect definition of a guy who always dares to be brilliant.
And talking about his confidence it’s just incredible. He has won league titles with every club he has played for( except ManUtd). Ibrahimovic copied flashy Brazilian players such as Romario and his idol, the incomparable Ronaldo, and began to sleep with a soccer ball tucked next to his pillow.
That showmanship has come to define his career, but as he slowly climbed the ranks of youth soccer in Sweden, it clashed with the prevailing team-first concept. As a result he was sent home by coaches more than once, while on other occasions his teammates’ parents drafted petitions demanding he be kicked out of the club.
None of that worked; Ibrahimovic was simply too good. And that led to another trait that has followed him throughout his career: Each time his skill or value was questioned, he would respond with an over-the-top boast, then go out on the field and back it up.
Not surprisingly, his other sporting idol was Muhammad Ali.