Ask anyone about Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and they’ll tell you that the Swedish striker is famous for scoring some of the most beautiful goals in contemporary football. To celebrate the Greek release of documentary Becoming Zlatan, which follows the star as a young player and discusses how he feels that youth football saved him, we thought we’d invite budding strikers aged 6–18 to share their gorgeous goals, #ZlatanStyle. The next generation of footballing superstars are looking pretty nifty if you ask us.
Gilberto Silva and Diamanti Chouchoumi meet the next generation of football stars, at a screening of Becoming Zlatan
He’s one of the biggest, best-known football stars in the world; he’s also famously very guarded with the media, often cutting short his interviews and never going into much personal detail. So how did two indie filmmakers on a small budget manage to get some of the most intimate conversations ever recorded with Zlatan Ibrahimović?
As I’m writing this, yet another story about Manchester United’s highest-profile new signing hits the UK press. Fenerbahçe centre back Simon Kjaer has described Zlatan Ibrahimović as “the kind of chest-puffing player, who is arrogant” following a mid-match clash where Zlatan grabbed the other player’s throat. While Kjaer seemed to be shrugging off the incident as just part of the game, a quote like this is catnip to sports journalists, who since his early days at Malmö FC have fed off Zlatan’s larger-than-life public persona and his on-pitch spats.
Every football player dreams of scoring the perfect goal. That one, tricky moment where skill, luck and beautiful footwork meet and become something celebrated, something legendary. And a good goal can be the making of a player.Read more
The gawky boy – he is still a boy, really; you can tell by the picked acne and over-crunchy hair gel – yawns, fidgets with a shirt clearly not his own choice and giggles at his own jokes. He’s delighted with himself, brimful of it, you can tell. The older man he’s travelling with counts twenty-four football players’ pictures in his newspaper, and the boy smirks. “I’m worth more than all twenty-four.”
He’s not, yet, the stone-faced star the world knows today, all sinew, slicked ponytail, and contained, channeled anger. He’s not yet famous for some of the most spectacular goals ever scored in football, for the star-spangled career at many of Europe’s biggest clubs, for his angry clashes with both opposing players and team mates or his outspoken, frequently controversial pronouncements. It seems almost impossible that this excitable puppy-dog of a player we first meet at nineteen could ever grow into that man.Read more
He’s one of the top three career goal scorers of all time, but those aren’t just any goals we’re talking about. From that sublime back-heel against Bologna in 2008 to his world-class bicycle kick playing against England in 2012, Zlatan Ibrahimović is famous for spectacular manoeuvres that seem to defy physics.
New film Becoming Zlatan follows the Swedish legend from his early days as a troubled teenager with “very technical feet”, already scoring gorgeous goals for youth teams in his home town of Malmö. To celebrate its release, we’re asking young football players from all over Italy and Greece to show us their best goal, Zlatan-style.
Boys and girls aged 6-18 are invited to upload videos of their best goals to YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook, using the hashtag #ZlatanStyle, then send them to us using our online form for a chance of winning.
Have you got a beautiful volley? Are your headers something special? Go on then, show us!Read more