As a child, Zlatan Ibrahimovic lived in poverty in the suburbs of Sweden. He was beaten with large wooden spoons by his mother. His father drank a lot, and neglected him unless he was truly in need. Often times, Ibrahimovic would come home and there would be no food for him to eat. He went through custody battles, abuse and neglect. One time as a young boy, he fell off a roof, hurting himself. He came home hoping for comfort but got slapped and nothing more than questioning as to why he was on that roof to begin with.
Ibrahimovic almost gave up on football after a trial. He thought he might start thai-boxing, before joining his first serious football club, Malmö FF. Ibrahimovic now stated that if he had not become a footballer, he thinks that chance might have made him a criminal, as many others from his neighbourhood became.
Ibrahimovic himself became violent, and stole bicycles at around 13 years old, which was also around the time he joined his first serious football club. Because of his violent behaviour on the pitch, and because he was foreign, his father being Bosniak and his mother being Croatian, one of the parents of one of Ibrahimovic’s team mates who he had head headbutted started a petition for people to sign to get Ibrahimovic off the team, all though a lot of people signed it, it was unsuccessful.
Ibrahimovic was in a team full of players who were much richer than him, coming with the latest addidas shoes, he came with cheap sneakers from the dollar store, his clothes packed in a grocery bag as he made his way to practice, walking many kilometers as his father was busy with the events of the people back in his homeland, he didn’t pick him up, and was never there to watch him play.
Inspite of all this and much more Ibrahimovic managed to climb his way to the best clubs in the world, he even became one of the best players in the world.
Many people often laugh at him because they think he is vain. They never stop to think what he has been through, how much of a fighter one has to be to make it inspite of such circumstances. They never stop to think that while some of the other best and favourite players had their future laid out for them, Ibrahimovic had to climb his way up all on his own. They never stop to think that maybe, because of all that he has been through, he has every right to be vain.