Wednesday, 13 November 2013

zlatan ibrahimovic - I am zlatan (with david lagercrantz)

This is more like the kind of football autobiography l like.  'I am Zlatan' tells Zlatan Ibrahimovic's tale in his own words, and he certainly doesn't hold back with them, slagging off respected characters like Pep Guardiola, and admitting to his own wrong doings and temper tantrums.
His Bosnian Muslim father and Croation Catholic mother split up when he was young, and he was born and raised in Sweden.  He moved in with his father (who drank a lot), and who showed no interest in Zlatan's football progress.  Zlatan got into a lot of trouble when he was younger, as (as he keeps reminding the reader) he is from the rough council streets, and that is the way he rolls, doing his own thing, and sticking up for himself, because no one else who would do it for you.  There's petty thieving and fighting, and of course, the football, which probably saved him from prison (at least so far).
He relentlessly practises his football heroes tricks from videos, and mainly plays for himself when younger, but is spotted and signed up for Malmo, his local team. There follows transfers, record fees, and fallings out with players and managers, taking in Ajax, Juvetus, Milan, Inter and Barcelona along the way.  He plays for (and falls out with) the Swedish team, but ends up getting himself an aggressive agent, plus a partner, nice house, children and dog. His father and family even start to follow him and take pride in his achievements.
Zlatan also reveals his vulnerable side when his first child is born (and then falls ill), and despite his love for fast cars, seems to have settled more, although his temper and determination to be a winner are never far away.
For me, the book was slightly too long and sometimes a bit repetitive, but more football autobiographies should be like it.
I've already stated (when the matter has been discussed in the pub), that l would rather Zlatan went to next years World Cup in Brazil, and did well with Sweden, rather than Portugal going with Cristiano Ronaldo (the teams play each other on the 15th and 19th November 2013 in a qualifier decider).  He may not be as good as Ronaldo in some aspects of his game, but you never know what to expect with Zlatan, and he can produce something completely unexpected that makes you swear and laugh at the same time.  What a player.

toodle pip

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