Football is a sport that requires both physical strength and mental fortitude in order to succeed. The very best players are known for both their power and presence on the pitch, as well as their awareness of their surroundings and where the gaps are that the ball can be played through. There have been many great players who have, however, capitalized off of their inherent advantages in any one of these areas in order to enhance their performance, and set themselves apart from their competition.
A good example of one of these players is the Swedish International footballer, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Zlatan, or simply ‘Ibra’ as many of his fans know him, is one of the best footballers in the history of the sport. Zlatan capitalizes off of his intimidating stature – a 6’5 striker with wide shoulders and thick bones, who is able to carry the ball long distances and fend off any attempt at an interception through the use of his large body.
Zlatan, although now strong, rich, and popular, was not always so – in fact, quite the opposite. Zlatan Ibrahimovic came from a poor, lower-middle class family, and faced great hardship in his childhood. As a result, he became mischievous, not caring about what anyone thought of him – he now details a story about how he once stole a bike in order to get to football training faster.
Zlatan started his career in the Swedish side, Malmo, before making a move to the Deutsch footballing force, Ajax. After spending two years at Ajax, Ibrahimovic transferred to Juventus – the supreme Italian side, considered one of the best footballing clubs in the world. After Juventus, Zlatan continued to move around, making his mark across many different leagues. In each league that he played in, he was considered one of the best. Zlatan Ibrahimovic serves as a testament to the fact that It does not matter from where you come, so long as you put in the work, the future is bright.