Zlatan’s Statue Is Toppled In MalmöJanuary 8, 2020
Just three months ago, Zlatan Ibrahimović’s career was immortalized with a statue in Malmö, Sweden. The statue, which was brought to life by Swedish sculptor Peter Linde, was crafted from bronze and was built to pay homage to what many consider to be the greatest soccer career by any Swede ever.
Public sentiment for Ibrahimović, and the statue, went south though in November when the 38-year-old bought a 25 percent stake in Hammarby, which is a staunch rival of his hometown Malmö FF (the team Ibrahimović began his playing career more than 20 years ago).
Since his ownership stake announcement was made, and as reported by BBC Sport, the statue has been spray painted, set on fire and even had a toilet seat put over its head.
But on Jan. 5, 2020, vandals took it a step further, toppling the 9-foot and 1,000-pound sculpture. According to the LA Times, “The statue was found knocked over around 3:30 a.m. local time Sunday after being cut off at the feet. The words “take away” were spray painted next to the statue and a Sweden soccer T-shirt was placed over its head.”
“It is with anger and great disappointment that we find that the Zlatan statue has once again been vandalized,” Håkan Sjöstrand, secretary general of the Swedish football association, said in a statement.
“It is understandable that the choices Zlatan Ibrahimović made arouse emotions. But that a few individuals are giving way to their disappointment by vandalizing and violating is completely unacceptable. There are no excuses for this disrespectful damage. It must stop.”
At this time, no arrests have been made, but there are plans to re-erect the statue in the near future.