Zlatan Ibrahimovic: A Career Defined by Memorable Phrases
Zlatan Ibrahimovic may have ended his career on Sunday, but his grandiose phrases and self-confidence bordering on arrogance and contempt for opponents and the media will live on forever. The Swedish striker knew how to use his image to create a persona that he used to great effect with the public, media, and sponsors.
“King,” “legend,” and “god” are just some of the terms that have defined Ibrahimovic’s illustrious career across different countries and leagues. In France, he was the “king” and “legend” during his time with Paris SG, and in England, he became the “lion” that took only three months to conquer. In Sweden and Milan, he was the “god,” and in Los Angeles, he labeled his first goal for the Galaxy as an “earthquake.”
One of the most famous phrases associated with Ibrahimovic was his statement upon leaving Paris SG in 2016: “I came like a king, I’m leaving like a legend.” Two years later, he made his debut in American soccer with the Los Angeles Galaxy, and he labeled his impact on the league as an “earthquake” that demonstrated his superiority.
When he returned to the Swedish team in 2021, he called it “the return of God,” a status that he claimed when Eric Cantona treated him as a “prince” when he arrived at Manchester United in 2016. Ibrahimovic didn’t want to be referred to as the “king” of Manchester and said he would rather be the “god” of the team.
Throughout his career, Ibrahimovic has been described as “timeless,” a player that never seems to age and always gets better with time. He compared himself to Benjamin Button, the character who rejuvenates over time, after returning to the Italian championship in 2020.
Ibrahimovic also knew how to use double meanings to create hype around his popularity, such as promoting the usage of masks in Lombardy during the COVID-19 pandemic. He stated in a video that the virus challenged him, but people are not him and cannot defeat it.
The Swedish striker has been considered a star in all the countries where he played, including Sweden, France, England, Italy, and the United States. He always found a way to provoke his audience, such as when he tweeted to American fans that they are welcome and can go back to their baseball games.
Ibrahimovic’s last words during his press conference defined him as a Superman. He stated that even God was sad when he woke up, indicating that he believed he was irreplaceable. His larger-than-life personality and memorable phrases will ensure that Zlatan Ibrahimovic remains a legend in the world of soccer for generations to come.