Zlatan Ibrahimovic honoured with shirtless statue in hometown
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been honoured with a statue in his hometown of Malmo in Sweden.
The LA Galaxy striker unveiled the statue on Tuesday outside the Swedbank Stadion, where he began his professional career 20 years ago.
The statue, which was commissioned by the Swedish Football Association, stands at almost three metres tall and depicts Ibrahimovic celebrating a goal without his shirt.
“You have players who win trophies. You have players who get statues. Then you have players who receive both trophies and statues,” said Ibrahimovic, a child of Balkan immigrants to Sweden.
“[It’s] a symbol for those who do not feel welcome, do not fit in or feel that they do not look like everyone else.
“If I can, they can. I’m not special in any way, even though I’m best at what I do.”
Ibrahimovic scored 62 goals in 116 appearances for Sweden before retiring from international football in 2016.
The 38-year-old is widely viewed as the greatest Swedish player in history, having enjoyed spells at many of Europe’s top clubs, including Juventus, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United.