Statue to be erected to honour iconic Swedish player.
A statue of Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be erected in his honour after he was named Sweden’s top player for a 10th successive year.
The 36-year-old striker received his ‘Guldbollen‘ – Golden Ball – award on Monday at a ceremony in Stockholm.
The statue will be placed outside Stockholm’s Friends Arena, where Ibrahimovic scored four goals against England in 2012.
Ibrahimovic said: “It’s huge for me. Most people do not get a statue until they have passed away.”
Ironically, in 2015, when he played for Paris Saint-Germain, the forward jokingly suggested that the Eiffel Tower should be demolished and replaced with a statue of himself.
The Swede has been the pre-eminent Swedish footballer of the past decade, winning the award every year since 2007 – as well as 2005.
Ibrahimovic retired from international football after Euro 2016. after scoring 62 goals in 116 games for Sweden and has won 11 domestic league title in four different countries (plus two with Juventus that were subsequently revoked).
“After all the hard work for 15 years in the national team – and 20 in my club career – it feels like it is appreciated,” added Ibrahimovic, who joined United in the summer from French champions Paris St-Germain.
“The guy from Rosengard [a district of Malmo where the majority of residents come from an immigrant background] will get his own statue in the capital. A big thank you to everyone.”
Swedish Football Association president Karl-Erik Nilsson said: “The statue is a way for us to thank Ibrahimovic for his amazing efforts for Swedish football, but it is also a symbol for everyone to always be reminded and inspired by all he has done.”