Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of the best strikers of his generation. The Swede is as popular and as talented as any other person to have ever played football thanks to his remarkable athleticism and uncommon agility that has generated several monikers, including Ibracadabra. The player, who also enjoys a love-hate relationship with fans of the game, is known for his extroverted personality that sometimes comes off as arrogant, aggressive, and rebellious.
Now in the latter stages of his career, Ibrahimovic currently plays in Serie A for AC Milan. He rejoined the club he originally played for in the early 2010s in 2019 after having had a spell in the MLS with the LA Galaxy. Other teams he has played for in a career that has seen him score a goal in each of the last four decades (1990s, 2000s, 2010s, 2020s) include Malmo, Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Paris Saint Germain, and Manchester United.
Over the course of his career with these great teams across Europe and beyond, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has won over two dozen trophies and scored more than 500 goals. He is also Sweden’s record international goalscorer. His achievements on the field, which has gone a long way in placing him among the highest earners in the sport for many years, has earned him numerous fans around the world.
How Much Money Zlatan Ibrahimovic Has Made In His Career
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has played football in seven different countries for some of the best teams in the world. To acquire his services, these teams have had to pay huge transfer fees and also offer him mouthwatering contracts that ensure he concentrates on his game on the field of play.
In addition to his salaries, the striker also signs lucrative endorsement deals that further contributes to him being one of the highest earners and richest people in the sport. This is thanks to his reported net worth of $90 million.
Transfer Fees and Contracts Signed
Ibrahimovic signed his first professional contract with his hometown team, Malmo FF in 1996. He stayed with them until 2001 when he joined Ajax for a transfer fee of €7.80 million. Later in 2004, he moved to Italian giants Juventus for a fee of about €16 million. He stayed with the team for two years before moving to Inter Milan for a fee of about €24.80 million in 2006.
In July 2009, the prolific forward made headlines when he joined Catalan giants Barcelona for a fee that summed up to €69.5 million. Ibrahimovic’s stay in Spain was, however, cut short due to a fall out with coach Pep Guardiola and so he opted to be loaned out to AC Milan for a year in 2010 for a fee of €6 million. The team later purchased his sporting and economic rights for €24 million as he officially joined the Italian club in 2011.
In 2012, Zlatan Ibrahimovic became the world’s second best-paid footballer as he began earning a net annual salary of €14 million after joining Paris Saint Germain for a transfer fee of €21 million. The Swede spent four seasons with the French giants before joining Manchester United on a free transfer. He signed a one year contract during which he reportedly earned £200,000 per week.
Ibrahimovic went on to spend one more year with the English club before moving to America to join the Los Angeles Galaxy on a free transfer. He was said to have put pen to paper on a deal that saw him receive $7.2 million a year. After his stint stateside, the striker rejoined AC Milan in December 2019 on a free transfer. He signed a six-month contract with an option to extend if certain conditions are met.
Endorsement Deals and Businesses
In addition to his earnings from salaries, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has also received huge sums from endorsement deals. For over ten years, from 2004 to 2014, the striker was a Nike Mercurial Athlete and was thus heavily involved in various promotional campaigns by the sports apparel company. In 2016, he signed a boot sponsorship deal with Adidas before later returning to Nike in 2017. Other companies he has served as a brand ambassador for include car manufacturer Volvo, Nivea, Vitamin Well sports drinks, and Microsoft Xbox.
On the business side of things, Ibrahimovic launched his own brand called A-Z Sportswear in 2016. He also started his own cologne line called Ibrahimovic Parfums around that time. Other business interests of his include a 23.5 percent ownership of Swedish club Hammarby IF and an android free-to-download game that offers in-app purchases called Zlatan Legends. He also owns real estate in Malmo, Paris, New York, Miami, and Stockholm.
Controversies Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Personality Has Courted
Sweden’s all-time highest goalscorer has gained a reputation for being controversial. He has been dubbed arrogant, disrespectful, and confrontational by many in the football world as a result of his polemical nature.
The first notable controversial incident that involved Zlatan Ibrahimovic was in 2004 when he supposedly deliberately injured club teammate Rafael Van der Vaart during an international friendly game between Sweden and Netherlands.
Other notable incidents involving him and other players include fighting AC Milan teammate Oguchi Onyewu during a training session in 2010, punching Bari defender Marco Rossi in the stomach in 2011, and slapping Napoli defender Salvatore Aronica in 2012. That same year, he kicked St Etienne goalkeeper Stéphane Ruffier in the chest, then stamped on Valencia winger Andres Guardado in 2013, and elbowed Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings in 2017. For some of these offenses, the player was sent off or subsequently reprimanded while on other occasions he escaped punishment.
Aside from issues with other players, Ibrahimovic has also found himself at loggerheads with fans, match officials, coaching staff, and team executives.
While in Barcelona, he was said to have threatened physical assault on Guardiola if he refused to process his loan move to AC Milan. During his time in PSG, the striker called France a shit country while trying to vent his anger on French referee Lionel Jaffredo. This prompted then-French Sports Minister Patrick Manner and top French politician Manne Le Pen to issue statements. The player later rendered an apology.
In 2013, Ibrahimovic got some backlash from the public after making sexist comments in regards to Sweden Women’s National Team. He publicly stated in an interview that there shouldn’t be a comparison between men’s and women’s football as the latter generates lesser finance and should be rewarded based on the income they generate. He made the statement after men’s national team player Anders Svensson was awarded a Volvo car for making the most international appearances for the country. This was done while female Swedish footballer Therese Sjogren, who has made 187 International appearances, was not recognized for her achievements.
Another notable incident Zlatan stirred up as a result of his comments was when he said he considered himself superior to other players in the MLS. The Malmo native further added that he is a Ferrari in a league full of Fiats.
Interesting Facts About His Wife and Kids
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been in a long term relationship with partner Helena Segar, an entrepreneur who has previously worked as a bar attendant, salesperson, model, and marketing manager. She has also done some acting, appearing in TV shows such as Solstollarna and Cozmoz.
The pair are said to have first met in a parking lot in Malmo in 2002 where Helena did not give him the time of day to say a word. The unfriendly reaction got the football star fascinated as he went on to get to know the blonde beauty and build a strong bond with her.
Helena and Zlatan have since then gone ahead to start a relationship that has lasted for more than a decade, and are now proud parents of two sons. On 22nd September 2006, they had their first son, Maximilian, before welcoming Vincent on 6 March 2008.