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Zlatan Ibrahimović, A Soccer Legend's Remarkable Career and Colorful Persona

Zlatan Ibrahimović is known to have been one the best soccer players in history. Zlatan was considered a fascinating person both on and off the field.

Zlatan Ibrahimović was born in Malmo, Sweden, on October 3, 1981. His mother was Croatian, and his father was Bosnian. Zlatan had a rough childhood growing up in the immigrant-populated district of Rosengard. His parents split up when Zlatan was two years old, but he did not let that stop him from doing what he loved.

Ibrahimović began his professional career in Malmo FF in 1999. He led the team from a second-division club to the first level the following season. Later on, he signed with the prominent Dutch club AFC Ajax. At this time, he decided to sharpen his skills as part of two title-winning teams. There, he developed a reputation as a temperamental player. This is not surprising because he has a history of this behavior.

Four years later, he went on to play for Juventus FC. Ibrahimović led the team to win two Serie A championships, but the titles were taken away because the team's Management was charged with fixing matches in the infamous Calciopoli scandal. This caused Zlatan to transfer to A.C. Milan. Soon, Zlatan claimed his first league-scoring crown in 2009.

Later that year, Ibrahimović was traded to FC Barcelona for Samuel Etoo. However, Ibrahimović spent the following season instead on loan to AC Milan because of his relationship with the manager Pep Guardiola. A.C. Milan purchased his contract outright for the 2011-12 season. Although he went on to claim his second scoring crown, Ibrahimović's streak of eight straight seasons on a title-winning club ended.

In 2012, Ibrahimović transferred to Paris Saint-Germain. He showed everyone he had plenty left in him by claiming his third scoring title with a career-high 30 goals and leading the club to its first league title in 19 years. Ibrahimović joined Manchester United in 2016 and helped the club win the 2017 UEFA Europa League final. He returned the following season but could not play after aggravating a knee injury in late December. Ibrahimović moved to LA Galaxy in the U.S. after Manchester United confirmed that they had terminated his contract.

Zlatan was known to be a fascinating character, which made him so different. For example, when he joined LA Galaxy, he tweeted "Now La has a God and a King! Zlatan welcomes @kingjames." Also, he took out a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times that read, "Los Angeles, you're welcome." There are even more examples to show how he had a big ego.

Zlatan announced his retirement after his team won 3-1 over Verona in its Serie A Finale. He said, "It's time to say goodbye to football, but not to you. It's too difficult; there are too many emotions." This was the first time many people had seen him emotional. At 41 years old, after playing for nine teams, 561 career goals, 12 league titles (not counting the one revoked by Juventus), three cup titles, and a Europa League title with Manchester United in 2017, it was time to relax. Overall, Zlatan left a memorable impression and demonstrated many achievements during his outstanding career.

[Source: Los Angeles Times; Biography.com]

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