“Living Legend” Zlatan Ibrahimovic comes to the Silver Screen

Although he is still an active player, a new film, which will be released on Friday, is trying to tell the story of Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic, focusing on his stellar childhood as he grew up in a poor city in Malmo. Ibrahimovic, Sweden’s most successful player, still plays for AC Milan at the age of 40 and is known for his bravery and arrogance compared to his humblest compatriots.

After joining Sweden’s Malmo FF in 1999, he has played for major teams such as Ajax, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United.

Presented as a “true underlying story,” the film “Jag ar Zlatan” (I Am Zlatan), which will be released on Friday, is based on the autobiographical book of the same name, but director Jens Sjogren told AFP he wanted to delve deeper into it. the player’s early years.

“When I read the first chapters of the book I thought about my childhood,” Sjogren said, adding that the film’s focus on the young Zlatan will be appealing not only to those who have followed the “Ibra” football career.

“Even though Zlatan sometimes had a rough childhood, we were all kids and we struggled with different things,” the 45-year-old director said.

It was important for Sjogren to tell the story of the film from the perspective of a child.

“What we’re experiencing, we experience, but when there are things that we don’t hear or understand, we also don’t need to understand that audience,” he said.

‘Great honor’

The film begins at the age of 12 and continues in Zlata, when he fought at school. He also shows that he distances himself from his mother and joins his father before spending his early years as a professional player in Malmo and Ajax.

Dominic Bajraktari Andersson, 15, and Granit Rushiti, a 22-year-old actor, both of whom are playing Zlatan at different ages, may have been given the task of portraying an icon that is still alive on screen.

“He’s a great footballer, one of the best in the world. He’s a legend, so of course it’s a great honor for us to play him,” Rushiti told AFP.

As a promising young footballer who had to retire after an injury, Rushiti said Zlatan had already been an inspiration to him.

“I’ve played football all my life, so it’s been a big part of my life and my football career. So I’ve taken a lot of it,” Rushiti said.

Both Rushiti and his young counterpart, like Zlatan himself, are from Scania in the far south of Sweden.

“I haven’t always played football, but he has been a role model in other ways. His behavior and the way he is as a person. We are more or less the same environment, the same city as Malmo. So he has been a great role model,” Andersson told AFP. .

‘Legend is alive’

At the end of the filming, the two young actors also had the opportunity to meet Zlatan in Milan.

“Before I started filming I thought Zlatan was pretty tough, he looked almost scary. But when I met him he was very sympathetic, very charming and joking. He made me relax and all the nervousness was gone.” “Andersson said.

“It was like finding a living legend that you looked at.”

The film’s release on Friday is scheduled for Zlatan in Sweden. More countries will continue in the coming weeks.

Although the status of Sweden’s most prolific Swedish-produced football player is unquestionable in his home country, the Malmo star has disappeared somewhat from his hometown.


A few months after Malmon erected a statue of the local hero, he became the target of numerous vandalisms after Ibrahimovic announced his purchase of a stake in the Stockholm Hammarby Club, Malmo’s rivals.

Seen as a betrayal by fans, the statue was spray-painted, flipped and sawed off.

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