Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Paris St. Germain’s Swedish striker often elicits strong emotions from fans—some love him for his explosive play, others for his quotable sound bites. On the flip side some are rubbed the wrong way by his cocky attitude both on and off the field. For me, he’s a character in the world of football—an individual among the sea of homogenizing commercialism that the professional game has become.

A simple Google search for “Zlatan Quotes” will present you with a plethora of websites. For fun, I will present my top five here:

5. On being misused at Barcelona: “You bought a Ferrari but you drive it like a Fiat”

4. On being marked by then Liverpool defender Stephane Henchoz: “First I went left, he did too. Then I went right, and he did too. Then I went left again, and he went to buy a hot dog.”

3. Reporter – “Do you think it’s even possible for Ajax to lose nine points in nine games?”

Zlatan – “According to my calculations it is possible to lose nine points in only three games.”

2. Reporter – “You’ve got some scars on your face, Zlatan. What has happened?”

Zlatan – “Well…I don’t know…you’ll have to ask your wife about that”

1. When asked by a female reporter about rumors he is gay following a picture with Pique while at                                 Barcelona: “Come over to my house with your sister, baby, and I’ll show you who’s gay!”

 

 

Don’t like these picks? Please see the following sites for more options: http://www.givemesport.com/404705-11-greatest-quotes-from-zlatan-ibrahimovic, http://footballspeak.com/post/2013/03/28/ZLATANISM-Top-25.aspx, and http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/zlatan-ibrahimovic-quotes-best-outspoken-2331210.

 

Redgardless of what you think of the man, his move after scoring a goal against Caen during a French League match on February 16 is worth noting. Like many strikers after scoring a goal he took of his shirt to reveal a tattooed body. But these were not just any tattoos—they were the names of fifty starving people from all over the world. In comments to the Paris Saint Germain football club’s website Mr. Ibrahimovic explained his stunt: “I had 50 names temporarily tattooed on my body. They are the names of real people who are suffering from hunger around the world. The tattoos have gone, but the people are still out there. There are 805 million people who are suffering from hunger around the world. I want you to see them, via me, to help the World Food Programme. This is the first time I have publicly engaged with a charity. If we can reach out to the world leaders, I am sure that together, we can solve the problem of hunger throughout the world.”

 

While his decision to team up with the World Food Programme is commendable, there is obviously much more that remains to be done. Still, for me, it is a nice gesture from a footballer who is so often getting in the headlines for controversial reasons. When football players use their immense fame—and influence—in the world for positive causes it deserves recognition.

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Image Courtesy Of: http://www.psg.fr/en/News/112002/Article-Club-s-Side/69998/Ibrahimovic-fights-world-hunger

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