Ibrahimovic unveils larger than life statue in hometown

Zlatan Ibrahimovic poses next to a 2.7 m bronze statue of himself, after the unveiling ceremony near the stadium where he made his professional debut in his hometown of Malmo, in southern Sweden. (AFP)
Updated 08 October 2019

Ibrahimovic unveils larger than life statue in hometown

  • Ibrahimovic, whose parents emigrated from the former Yugoslavia, grew up in difficult conditions in Rosengard, a neighborhood in Malmo known for violent clashes between rival gangs
  • Ibrahimovic played for Malmo, then Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, PSG and Manchester United before moving to the LA Galaxy

MALMÖ, Sweden: Zlatan Ibrahimovic unveiled a bronze statue of himself on Tuesday near the stadium where he launched his professional career in his hometown of Malmo.
“No matter where you come from, where you are, no matter what you look like, the statue is the symbol that anything is possible,” said Sweden’s best-known footballer, visibly moved to see himself permanently represented “where it all began.”
Ibrahimovic, who had a stint with Paris Saint-Germain, already has an effigy at the Grevin wax museum in the French capital.
He had been waiting for his statue in Sweden for five years. The work, created by Swedish sculptor Peter Linde, is impressive. Ibrahimovic stands 1.95m (6ft 5in) tall. The sculpture is 2.7 meters high and weighs 500kg.
Ibrahimovic, whose parents emigrated from the former Yugoslavia, grew up in difficult conditions in Rosengard, a neighborhood in Malmo known for violent clashes between rival gangs.
He played for Malmo, then Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, PSG and Manchester United before moving to the LA Galaxy. He developed a reputation as a player who won league titles, collecting 13 in 16 seasons in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and France, although one, with Juventus, has since been rescinded.
His Galaxy team have made the MLS playoffs and face Minnesota in the first round on October 20.
Ibrahimovic dominated the Swedish national team from 2001 to 2016, winning 116 caps and scoring 62 goals.
He remains an icon in his hometown.
“He is one of us. He comes from Rosengard and has become the king of football,” said Jaafar, who grew up in the area and came up to approach his idol.
Ibrahimovic, who is famous for his bombastic, possibly tongue in cheek, declarations, said before leaving PSG that he would stay if the club owners could persuade the city to “change the Eiffel Tower for my statue.”
“A World Cup without me is nothing to watch, so it is not worth waiting for the World Cup,” he said when Sweden failed to qualify for the 2014 finals.


Gold spurs Saudi women fencers to games glory

Updated 23 October 2019

Gold spurs Saudi women fencers to games glory

  • Saudi fencing team “hopes to raise the Saudi flag in all international, regional and continental forums”

KUWAIT: Saudi women fencers have their eyes set on international success after claiming gold and bronze medals in the teams’ events at the sixth Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Women’s Games in Kuwait.

The women’s team finished the competition with a gold in the team sabre fencing and a bronze in the epee fencing. Fencers Hasna Al-Hammad, Ruba Al-Masri, Sheikha Al-Dosari and Fawzia Al-Dosari competed in the sabre category, while Nada Abed, Areej Abed, Fawzia Al-Khibari and Mashael Al-Khayal took part in the epee category.

Al-Hammad also won a medal in the sabre category for singles at the launch of the tournament, with the Saudi fencing team finishing third in the foil contest. 

Princess Nouf bint Khalid, head of the Saudi delegation to the games, said that the Saudi fencing team “hopes to raise the Saudi flag in all international, regional and continental forums.”

In the basketball competition, the Saudi women’s team were defeated 62-33 by Bahrain.

Meanwhile, the Saudi bowling women’s team finished its competition in fifth place. 

Mashael Al-Abdulwahid claimed 14th place among 20 players during the 18-game competition, beating rival bowlers from Oman, the UAE and Kuwait.

Her teammates Ghada Nimr, Hadeel Termin and Amani Al-Ghamdi finished 15th, 17th and 20th, respectively.