Match of the Day Kickabout tells the incredible story of one of the world's greatest football talents: Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
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Hello and welcome to a very special programme about a very special man.
He is a born winner, genuine legend and he is a very entertaining.
No, Ben, you know who I'm talking about.
OK, OK, so I am not a football legend but that does not
There is no way Jose's men would have been so
successful last season without him, and yes, that the
But you just can't argue with his world-class impact on English
Actually, shall we just have a goal first?
Plenty more Zlatan goals coming up and much, much more.
Ben and I are hanging out in Sweden to find out
Zlatan's first coach tells us about how rare
He had a rare mentality and also the character to go off and be
Be in the Zlatan's biggest influences.
We trace his incredible journey through the world stop clubs.
And we marvel at Zlatan's amazing
To know exactly how Zlatan got right to the very top of world
football we need to start from the beginning.
This is where it all started for Zlatan, it was here where he was
But Zlatan wasn't your traditional Swedish kid with a perfect family.
Right from the beginning Zlatan felt like an outsider.
For a start, his parents were not Swedish.
Immigrants like most people around here, and
everything seemed to revolve around this council estate.
For Zlatan this place was not home, it was his whole
And this in sums it all up perfectly.
Growing up in Roseguard was hard, there was not a lot
of money to go around and Zlatan's parents
had split up, meaning that
family life could often get a bit tricky.
Things were tough but Zlatan and his friends and he was very
close to his sister, riding bikes made him happy,
he likes martial arts and more importantly he loved
It is amazing to think that this is where Zlatan
Here is my heart, here is my history.
Zlatan used to play here with his mates but he did not
want to be a normal player, he wanted to stand out and be
For him it was all about outrageous skills.
Zlatan might have lived in Sweden but his soul was
South American, he idolised the Brazilian Ronaldo and he tried to
emulate the fancy footwork of the December boys.
Surely when he went to sleep at night this is what he
I lost a game, I was watching the Brazilians play
football, the touch they had and the ball was magic.
More from Ronaldo and here's Ronaldo!
In Brazil, the pitted between the legs and was a nice
Every trick you did, everyone was like, "Oh, yeah!"
Zlatan was not only inspired by Brazilian football
gods like Ronaldiniho you love other sports, too.
When he was a kid he came here to take tae kwon do
lessons, which is a martial art that focuses on kicking.
You can see how this has helped Zlatan so much, dedication,
determination, discipline, it is all here.
I know, it is incredible and how many times have we seen Zlatan
Scores on his home debut. Ibrahimovic, Manchester United going
And a wonderful strike from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
When the Zlatan shoots, he means it.
He was a bit of a rebel and he struggled at school.
But his football talent shone through and he
was snapped up by local professional club FF Malmo when he was 15.
We went there to find out just he was
I am here with Zlatan 's youth coach when he played here as a
What were your initial impressions of him?
A normal guy, small but fantastic technical
He was training for one and half hours, Monday, Tuesday,
Thursday, maybe, but after that he would go
home and practice all his
skills and everything so he had many hours of training at home.
I am telling him talent can't take you
all the way, you need to work hard and that is the key behind
I think it is a problem today in Sweden and also all over
the world, they go home and play outside and PlayStation, they did
not go out to the pitch and play with your parents or your friends
You are always doing these things, and do it better?
In his first season he barely played and Malmo got
relegated, second season in the second division in Sweden
he played a lot and scored a lot of goals,
I think everybody after he was 18 years old,
we thought he would go to
Maybe not that he would play at this level up to
He had the men talent he the character to go on to be a
The football talks for me because if I can then they
What did him leaving the club mean to Malmo?
We have today a stadium that rebuilding 2009.
That is incredible, Zlatan never played here for Malmo
I hope many more years of exciting football here too,
I am here in the Malmo youth set-up, this is where Zlatan used to
I am going to get in there and do a bit of freestyle.
I love Zlatan because he is very big and here's
this positive and he knows he is the best one.
He's a very good striker and he scores very good goals.
He is duly athletic, he can do everything.
Years not so quick but he is my favourite player.
Sometimes he makes some beautiful goals like when he
does the bicycle kick against England.
He does the unbelievable stuff and you don't expect it.
I love Zlatan because he is the best Swedish player of all time.
I am so impressed at the skills, they are top-notch. I can see where
Zlatan get it from. I tell you what, what aid for Malmo because there is
a budding team of skilled youngsters right here.
Malmo is a small place and Zlatan had huge ambitions. He realised that
if he wanted to make it as a superstar he had to leave these
shores and moved to -- a move to Ajax beckoned and he will urge to
seek fame and fortune. Come on, John! Before he moved to Ajax slat
and turned down a trial with Arsenal, he told Arsene Wenger that
the Zlatan does not do auditions. That confidence served him well in
the Dutch capital, he was a big success at Ajax and moved to Italian
giants Juventus. Zlatan's international career took off at
this point, look at this incredible strike in the 2004 European
Championships. It is Ibrahimovic is cause! Zlatan was mixing flour with
goals every single week, the Italians love the way he moved to
Inter Milan he won two league titles and was a top goal scorer in CD a.
By 2009 he cemented his reputation as one of the best in Europe, there
was a lot of transfer talk. Zlatan had always wanted to play in Spain.
Finally he and his dream move. -- he earned his dream move. Yes, the one
and only Barcelona had come calling. The iconic Spanish giants. More than
just a football club. When he signed it was huge news and he really
inspired the Barcelona fans. The already had Lionel Messi and when
Zlatan arrived he was the most expensive signing ever. This is the
Barcelona dressing room and check this out. This is where Zlatan used
to gun week in week out and play amongst some of the greatest players
ever. Think about is that they had in US that, Lionel Messi and Tierney
on me. This is where they all came. It is incredible. The reason he came
was nights like this, electric, incredible Champions League games.
But the perfect football did not last long because Zlatan's
relationship with the Barcelona manager was bad. They just did not
get on. He grew very frustrated with the attention and the media got on
his back. This is the pressure at Barcelona, it is where questions
were asked about the Zlatan. Would he fit in and was he too much of a
bad boy? Zlatan trained harder than ever before to try and fit in at
Barcelona and even though they won the league and Zlatan scored goals
he was very unhappy. Pet had not spoken to him for months and that
meant he was transferred back to Italy to a C Milan. The dream had
turned into a nightmare. While Zlatan's dream move to Barcelona may
have turned into a nightmare he got his hands on his dream house. He
used to run past it every day and dream of living in even when it was
not for sale he put in a bit so high the owners could not refuse. Imagine
the kickabout he has had in there with his boys. Can you believe they
have Zlatan as the bad! As you know my big passion is freestyle and that
is my favourite thing about Zlatan, he was the same. He would spend
hours perfecting those stunning skills that made him stand out as a
player and when he became a pro he developed into the full package so
how can you improve your game and be more like Zlatan? Master the ball.
Zlatan is totally possible with the ball. Whether it is coming high,
long, short, he hasn't. You can practice this by kicking a ball high
against the wall and controlling it. Use your superpower. Every player is
different and that is the same for you. Take what you haven't turned it
into a superpower. I think Zlatan's superpower is the flame backheel.
That obviously comes from his tae kwon do days. The spontaneous.
Football is all about creativity so get out and express yourself, you do
not always have to plan your next shot so go on and have some fun and
take your man on. Check this one out. Crossbar challenge. Things
don't always go to plan on the football pitch. No one get
everything right. I don't, you don't, Zlatan will have a misplaced
pass or a sliced shot. Don't worry about it. Keep smiling and you will
get there. Zlatan is huge. He is a six foot five man mountain and he
uses it to good effect but the same goes for you smaller guys out there.
If you are small than make the most of it. Zlatan has had a huge impact
on Manchester United and that is because of his world-class
leadership qualities, whether it is at training games, help out your
team-mates and be kind to them and even if you're quiet you can always
lead by example. Come on! Without self belief Zlatan would never have
made it to the top. There will always be ups and downs so if you
miss an open goal don't worry about it. If you get a hat-trick then
don't get carried away. Stay focused and happy and believe in yourself.
Come on, boys! Zlatan excise Zlatan! Valencia, art goes Ibrahimovic. He
is Zlatan. What is the best thing about Ibrahimovic? Scoring goals. If
you could use one or two words to sum him up what would they be? Good.
East. Epic. I think that says it all. Off the post! Ibrahimovic!
Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Manchester United. Now they have recaptured the
League Cup and a huge cheer as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, scorer of two
goals here, raises the cup high. He is a football scorer, he is arrogant
but in a good way. To you think he ranks among some of the best players
Manchester United have ever had? The Mac I think he would be in the top
ten something. If you get some Zlatan in one word what would be?
Years the best. And that is the words but I will let you have it.
The final whistle goes on Manchester United have won the Europa League.
They will be in the Champions League next season. There you have it. What
a story and what true -- what a true footballing legend Zlatan is. He is
still keeping is getting even in recovery mode! Next week he might
even be pulling on a Manchester United shirt once again. He has
inspired me to with his gym and text so he and I am, this one is for you,
Zlatan. One! I would like to see you do better, far-off! 39, 40... Hello.
I have loved learning all about Zlatan. That guy is a total legend.
Remember it is all about persistence, hard work, and never
giving up. 41, 42,... One and a half! CU!
Match of the Day Kickabout tells the incredible story of one of the world's greatest football talents: Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The giant Swedish striker made a huge splash in English football when he signed for Manchester United in 2016, but it was in Malmo, Sweden where his story began. Ben Shires and John Farnworth trace Zlatan's remarkable journey from troubled teenager to soccer superstardom.