Zlatan Ibrahimovic described himself as “God” with a capital letter (G) while he described his teammates at AC Milan as students who are learning from him. The 38-year-old Swedish striker made this remark via a caption of a photograph he posted on his Instagram page.
In the picture, Zlatan was seen standing in front of his other AC Milan players while they were looking at his legs like real students who wanted to learn new skills from their master. Zlatan wrote: “God and his students”.
This caption has been keeping his over 43 million Instagram followers amazed at how the football legend always find a way to be controversial. His record of being a controversial figure in football and in every club he has played for is endless. This has almost undermined the fact that Zlatan is one of the best strikers the world has ever seen.
The 38-year-old football star has played for virtually all the major leagues in the world and has won virtually everything in club football except the UEFA Champions League. Hence, one can safely say, despite how brilliant he has been as a footballer in the last 20 years, he has not completely conquered Europe, the epicentre of club football in the world.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is yet to win the UEFA Champions League
The fact that Zlatan is yet to win the Champions League so far in his illustrious football career could be blamed on his attitude and his inability to be a gentleman in most of the clubs that have the possibility of giving him such an opportunity.
For instance, prior to the 2010-2011 season, while he was contracted to Barcelona, he threatened to publicly beat up the then manager of the club Pep Guardiola if he did not allow him to move to AC Milan. This threat escalated the feud between them, hence, Zlatan was sent on a season-long loan to AC Milan.
The season (2010-2011) he left for the loan was the same season Barcelona won the UEFA Champions League. Hence, he did not have the privilege to be among the Champions League winning team for that season.
Ibrahimovic is not an Audition player
Besides that, analysts and Zlatan’s critics believe that the Swedish legend would have achieved more in football if his arrogance has not gotten on the way very early in his career. Records have it that when he was a youngster playing for Malmö FF, Arsene Wenger, the then coach of Arsenal football club, invited him for trials in 2000 at the club. Zlatan reportedly replied that he is not an “audition player” and refused to go.
In less than two seasons after, Arsenal went on to make history by being the first club in the Premier League to win the league without being beaten. While Zlatan went on to join Ajax, where he won the Eredivisie.
Among all the controversies associated with Zlatan, the biggest was when he injured his Ajax teammate, Rafael van der Vaart, during an International friendly between Netherlands and Sweden in 2004. When they returned to Ajax, Van der Vaart told the media that Zlatan intentionally injured him during the match.
The accusation caused a serious crisis in the team that they were both made to face an in-house panel. During the panel hearing, Zlatan threatened Van der Vaart that if he kept saying he intentionally injured him, he would intentionally break his legs.
In 2013, he came under fire from the Sweden women’s national team for an interview where he compared the relevance of female football to male football. The comparison was borne out of an incident where his former teammate Anders Svensson was given a car for being Sweden’s most-capped player then, while his female counterpart, Therese Sjögran who had 41 more caps (187 to 146) than him at the time was not rewarded.
In his reaction, Zlatan said: Sweden would be “devaluing” Svensson “by comparing him with the ladies’ individual achievements. They can get a bike with my autograph on it and then we’re good.”
Life After Zlatan Ibrahimovic in MLS
Just recently, when Zlatan left LA Galaxy in the Major League Soccer in 2019, he took to Twitter and wrote a farewell to his fans at the club, saying: “I came, I saw, I conquered. Thank you @lagalaxy for making me feel alive again. To the Galaxy fans – you wanted Zlatan, I gave you Zlatan. You are welcome. The story continues…Now go back to watch baseball.”
I came, I saw, I conquered. Thank you @lagalaxy for making me feel alive again. To the Galaxy fans – you wanted Zlatan, I gave you Zlatan. You are welcome. The story continues…Now go back to watch baseball pic.twitter.com/kkL6B6dJBr— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) November 13, 2019
This tweet implies that he was the reason the MLS was enjoyable to watch. Hence, since he was no longer there, the fans would no longer enjoy watching it.
In the same vein, German defender Florian Jungwirth, who has been playing for MLS club San Jose Earthquakes since 2017 recounted how Zlatan hilariously bullied LA Galaxy players during a football match against San Jose.
“I think it was in 2018 when we played at Stanford against Zlatan first time – and he was like really insulting all his team-mates”, Jungwirth said via a Q&A on Twitter.
“For 90 minutes – he was yelling at everyone. It was just funny.
“Everyone was so scared of him and I was just laughing because everyone was like a little kid. They were like, ‘Daddy, can I get something from you?’.”
We can go on and on to highlights why Zlatan can be said to be the most arrogant football star in modern football. But his fans would say, that is why he is Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Here are facts Why Zlatan Thinks he is a god in football
Zlatan has featured for seven different clubs in the UEFA Champions League, which stands a record to date.
He is also the only player in the world that has scored for 6 different clubs in the tournament. So far, he has scored over 50 goals in the competition.
Zlatan played for Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, and Manchester United.
Zlatan is the only player to have scored on his debut in Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 and the Champions League.
Zlatan is the oldest player (35 years and 125 days) to score 15 Premier League goals in a season. He is also the only player to have won 11 championships in four leagues.
Zlatan holds the record for most MLS regular-season goals in a campaign (30) for LA Galaxy. He has the record for fastest hat-trick in Ligue 1 for PSG (9 minutes).