Did you Know?
The name “Zlatan” was trademarked in May 2003 at the Swedish Patent and Registration Office for “most likely being perceived as Zlatan Ibrahimović”, which meant that he received exclusive rights to the name for certain products, including sporting goods, clothing, and shoes. Ibrahimović is under contract with Nike and features in their television advertising where he has appeared alongside other players in the Nike stable including Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Wayne Rooney. He wears the Nike Mercurialboot line and has the names and dates of birth of his sons embedded onto the external sides of his boots. In late 2007, Ibrahimović, with the help of Nike, self-funded Zlatan Court in the streets of the city district Rosengård in his hometown Malmö: he provided a playing mat, goalposts, lighting and a modern fence. In 2008, he donated new Nike kits to his youth club, FBK Balkan.
Things to Know:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sponsored for most of his career by Nike. But it happened to see him wearing Adidas boots everytime his contract with Nike expired and before he signed the renew. Does it mean Zlatan preferred Adidas boots or it was only his agent Mino Raiola’s trick to get more money from Nike?
Did you Know?
After Inter teammate Maxwell completed his transfer to Barcelona, Barça president Joan Laporta confirmed that there was an agreement in principle between Barcelona and Inter for Ibrahimović to join the club in exchange for striker Samuel Eto’o, plus a reported fee of £59 million. Ibrahimović left Inter during their United States summer tour in the World Football Challenge on 23 July 2009 for negotiations with Barcelona, with his last match for Inter being against Chelsea. After Inter agreed terms with Eto’o and Barcelona with Ibrahimović, Barcelona announced Ibrahimović would arrive on 26 July 2009 and undergo a medical test on 27 July 2009. Ibrahimović passed his medical and was presented to a crowd of over 60,000 at Camp Nou. He signed a five-year contract, for €46 million and the exchange of Eto’o (valued at €20 million) and loan of Alexander Hleb (with an option to purchase for a €10 million fee), with a €250 million release clause, making Ibrahimović worth €66 million. The Hleb deal, however, collapsed. Eventually, Ibrahimović cost Barcelona €69.884 million, which included other fees:173 As per the Inter book, the fee was €69.5 million, but part of the Inter fee (max 5% according to FIFA regulation) were deducted and distributed by Barcelona to youth and young professional clubs of Ibrahimović: Malmö FF and AFC Ajax as solidarity contribution. Ibrahimović started the 2009–10 season with his competitive debut for Barcelona on 23 August 2009 by assisting a Lionel Messi goal, leading them to the Supercopa de España, beating Athletic Bilbao 5–1 on aggregate. In his next competitive match, Barcelona won the 2009 UEFA Super Cup with a 1–0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk. In his third appearance, he scored his first goal in Barcelona’s La Liga season opener against Sporting Gijón in a 3–0 win. Ibrahimović scored in his next four games, thus setting a team record as the only player ever to score in his first five league matches. On 20 October, he scored his first Champions League goal for Barcelona in a group stage match against Rubin Kazan. Five days later, he scored twice in a 6–1 thrashing of Real Zaragoza, giving him a league-leading seven goals in seven league matches while sending Barcelona to the top of the table. On 7 November, however, he suffered a thigh injury that kept him out for three weeks. He returned to action in week 12 of the season against Real Madrid as a second-half substitute for Thierry Henry, and scored his eighth goal of the campaign. He finished with 11 goals and 4 assists in Barcelona’s first 15 league matches. Barcelona capped off 2009 by winning the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup against Estudiantes on 19 December 2009. Ibrahimović scored Barcelona’s only goal in the 2009–10 Copa del Rey first leg match of the round of 16 in a 2–1 loss to Sevilla on 5 January 2010. On 20 January, he was selected in the 2009 UEFA Team of the Year. His first goal of 2010 came on 14 February against Atlético Madrid. In his next appearance, Ibrahimović scored against Stuttgart in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League knockout stage fixture. He was sent off on 6 March in a league match against Almería, which Barcelona appealed to no avail, and he was suspended for one game. A calf strain during warmups before the next La Liga match following his return from suspension against Athletic Bilbao ruled Ibrahimović out of the second leg 4–1 victory over Arsenal, in which he scored two goals away from home, the return leg of El Clásico against Madrid (which Barcelona won 2–0), and the next league match against Deportivo de La Coruña. He made his return as a substitute in the 82nd minute in a 0–0 away draw against Espanyol on 17 April.Following Barcelona’s semi-final defeat to Inter Milan in the Champions League, Ibrahimović spoke of how he confronted his coach Pep Guardiola in the changing room. “I yelled: ‘You haven’t got any balls!’ and worse than that I added: ‘You can go to hell!’ I completely lost it, and you might have expected Guardiola to say a few words in response, but he’s a spineless coward. He just left, never to mention it again, not a word.” He scored his final goal for Barcelona in the 2010 Supercopa de España on 14 August in a 3–1 defeat against Sevilla, and on 25 August, he played his last match for the club against Milan for the Joan Gamper Trophy, after which he claimed to the media that his relationship with Guardiola had started deteriorating and that Guardiola had not spoken to him since February. In his autobiography I Am Zlatan, he states, “‘It started well but then Messi started to talk. He wanted to play in the middle, not on the wing, so the system changed from 4–3–3 to 4–5–1. I was sacrificed and no longer had the freedom on the pitch I need to succeed.”