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Saturday, October 9, 2010

An Act of Kindness by Zlatan Ibrahimovic

"I AM FOOTBALL" by Zlatan Ibrahimović with Mats Olsson.
Image credit:
Penguin Books Ltd. and Viking.

I read an interesting story yesterday in "The Local," an English language publication from Sweden. AC Milan and Swedish star, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, is often portrayed in the media as an opinionated mercenary. This story might change your mind about him.

Architect Gisli Kristjansson of Malmo was doing work on Zlatan's home. He brought his 16 year-old son, Erik, last Sunday to meet his idol. They had a kickabout in the backyard.

Then Ibrahimovic made an unexpected phone call to Milan.
"Zlatan came out and said, ‘How would you like to try playing for Milan?’,” Gisli Kristjansson told The Local.

“We said, are you joking, and he said it was no joke. We couldn’t believe it.”

Erik was on a plane to Italy the following day to train in AC Milan’s youth development programme.
Erik plays for Malmö's IF Limhamn Bunkeflo, and has the support from his teammates:
“We say congratulations to Erik and have our fingers crossed from him with AC Milan. Some really exciting news and an inspiration for the entire team. We’ve all got our fingers crossed,” the team said in a statement on its website.
“My life is football and this is the chance of a lifetime. I don’t know when I’m coming home. Hopefully never.”
Source: The Local, 8 October 2010 by David Landes.

Rare Gesture

Sadly, we don't often see or hear about such gestures. We might say that some global stars desire to keep such things private. But in a day and age of athletes who seemingly live in different worlds, we should commend Zlatan for giving a young boy a dream of a lifetime.

Well done, Mr. Ibrahimovic.

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