Zlatan Ibrahimović

Religion, politics, and ideas ofZlatan Ibrahimović

Summary

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is Catholic.

He's non-political, but gets dragged into debates about immigration and taxes.

Editorial

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was born and raised in Malmö, Sweden.

Ibrahimovic was born to a Muslim father and a Catholic mother, but now practices the religion of his mother. He described himself as "very Catholic"[1] and even has a tattoo across his left side that reads, in English, "Only God Can Judge Me."[2] That wasn't necessarily an exclusively religious statement however. It also could have been a response to critics of his abrasive personality and wild lifestyle.[3]

I found an image or two of him praying on the field,[4] but nothing about him attending church or meeting the pope or anything else really. Except for a profession of love for (arguably) the world's most popular sport:

Football is a religion in its own right, and everyone is welcome.[5]

Well said, Zlatan. Well said.

Non-political Politics

Politics revolves around Ibrahimovic more than he immerses himself in it. He's often mentioned in conversations about immigration in Sweden. Ibrahimovic was born of a Bosnian father and a Croatian mother and grew up in a rough immigrant district. Sweden's liberal immigration policies and its generous social welfare programs cause some Swedes to resent the immigrant population–and in turn the famous footballer.[6] Although it's a minority viewpoint, one unimpressed citizen wrote,

Zlatan Ibrahimovic isn't Swedish. Swedish citizen? Yes, of course. An ethnic Swede that should represent our land, culture, and people? No.[7]

Ibrahimovic also became the target of outrage from some French politicians in 2012 when it was announced that his new French football club would be paying him an €11.3 million post-tax salary. The French budget minister called the figure "indecent," but considering the country is set to tax his income at 75%, it seems to me like France is the real winner. Ibrahimovic himself said,

I don't understand all the criticism. After all, the more money I earn, the more tax France receives.[8]

And anyway, who could complain when he scores goals like this one? But when it comes down to it, Ibrahimovic seems pretty much non-political. It's just when you're as high profile as he is, you're bound to get dragged in one way or another.

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