I remember the first time I saw Zlatan. It was in the summer of 1999 and I was standing at Malmo's training ground talking to one of the first-team defenders, a rather unsophisticated Swedish player who specialised in kicking the ball into the stands whenever it went near RS Gold him.He pointed to a young, tall guy standing by himself, kicking the ball. 'That's the new player in the first-team squad. He's the most talented young player.
I've ever seen. Unfortunately he will not go far. He doesn't have the mental capacity to make it.'That young player was Zlatan Ibrahimovic, then a 17-year-old unknown, but these days the self-confident maverick with a career few can match. A winner in all the leagues he's played in, his trademark is his mental strength. He's a player who loves the challenge of people not believing in him.
That's the trigger, something that makes him stronger. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has gone from being a 17-year-old unknown to a global superstar Ibrahimovic wanted to stand out and not conform from the very start of his career His drive comes from a need to prove people wrong In 1999, we were following Malmo for a documentary about life in a football club, especially the ups and downs of being a supporter.
We know all about that as lifelong Malmo fans. The young, precocious Zlatan hadn't played any full games for the first team in the autumn of 1999, but there was something that we were drawn to. He was something different in a Swedish football culture where you were supposed to earn your position, be a loyal team player for years before you could even open your mouth in the dressing room.