The second book I finished in 2014 was a far more entertaining read than the dour Sagan classic. Minä Zlatan Ibrahimović is the autobiography of one of the greatest contemporary footballers (and definitely the loudest one).
The first pages prove the Zlatan pulls no punches – he essentially reduces celebrated Barça legend to a clueless spectator, and doesn’t let down the attitude for the next few hundred.
After the news-threshold breaking introduction the book settles down to chronologically lay out Zlatan’s progress into the finest teams in Europe.
The story of a Rosengård kid could have gone wrong on so many axis – a broken family, a wild youth and semi-criminal interests could have so easily ended up in a tragedy.
But they did not. Zlatan struck lucky, and to prove how much it means, the story of Tony Flygare provides a nice counterpoint. He missed one crucial penalty kick and essentially sank his career.
Zlatan’s career starts in Malmö and he hits big time first in Ajax. But keeps on moving from team to team, succeeding in all of them. Despite the constant heroics Zlatan comes off as a human, full of self-doubt, his own worst critic. A human with many faults and a superhuman skill in scoring goals and winning. The book describes far fewer feuds than expected. That is, feuds with other players. Journalists and managers get a broadside of abuse (which in most cases seems quite well-deserved).
From their days in Inter, Zlatan holds an odd fascination with Mourinho, possibly the case of two hard-headed individuals mutual respect for each other.
I hadn’t realized how many teams (and leagues) Zlatan had dominated, apart from the English Premier League he’s struck gold in all the majors.
Too bad Sweden is out of the 2014 games, as Zlatan’s career as #10 is unlikely to survive intact into the 2018 World Cup.
Man kan ta en kille från Ropsengård
Men man kan inte ta Rosengård från en kille
Lagercrantz, the author, has succeeded where many would have failed.
The book is well-written, rapid paced and authentically sounding – probably a great book to attract boys to read more.
The attached video – the first video attachment in a book review in this blog – proves the audacity of Zlatan on the field, a casual demolition of England, where he scored all the four goals for Sweden, including this beauty: