Zlatan Ibrahimovic at SIBF: Attributes his success on and off the field to 'working hard for what you want to achieve'

Legendary footballer has found great success after penning his memoirs and it was only natural that the excitement was palpable at the Sharjah International Book Fair 2022



Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied
by

Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Mon 14 Nov 2022, 10:35 PM

Last updated: Tue 15 Nov 2022, 12:07 AM

When your on-field exploits are legendary and off-field behaviour controversial, your memoirs will surely kick up a storm — and Swedish football great Zlatan Ibrahimovic answers to this very description.

The legendary footballer has found great success after penning his memoirs and it was only natural that the excitement in the ballroom was truly palpable at the Sharjah International Book Fair 2022 (SIBF) as Ibrahimović walked onto the stage.

The striker who plays for the illustrious Italian Serie A club AC Milan and has scored almost 600 goals between his multiple clubs and his national team, said: “Books provide inspiration and give many people access to learn from experts. I believe it is my responsibility to share my experience and write what I have learnt to make better people and footballers in the world.”

The Swedish professional has enjoyed success both on the field and in the world of literature with his bestselling memoirs. Advising young readers and his fans of all ages in the packed ballroom, Ibrahimovic — or 'Ibra' as fans affectionately know him — said: “When you do something in life, do it because you believe in it. When something feels natural and real, that’s when it works all the time.”

Describing him as “still young”, the celebrated 41-year-old footballer and author of Adrenaline: My Untold Stories, attributed his success on and off the field over the last 23 years to “working hard for what you want to achieve”.

“I don’t do things to cater to the expectations of others and when people doubt me, it fills me with passion and I never give up or let the opinions of others slow me down,” Ibra said.

Expressing his pride in his discipline and ‘bullet-proof’ mentality, Ibrahimović noted that he maintains this resolve by surrounding himself with inspirational people and inspiring others.

Responding to a question about his peers, he said: “Roberto Carlos (Brazilian international) probably had the biggest impact on my career as a fellow player, because of the competition we shared between each other. He was an explosive player, and in some ways, he grounded and pushed me to be even better than I was.”

Answering another question about contemporary footballers, the Swedish footballer said although he considers Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo to be rather special, it was ultimately up to the fans to decide.

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Speaking about the upcoming World Cup, the acclaimed footballer said he expects Argentina to take the title and that he hopes for Messi to hold up the World Cup trophy.

“Every World Cup is exciting as it’s the biggest stage for football to be played on, it is always special to me whether I’m playing or not. Regardless of my prediction, the best team on the day will take the trophy home.”

Expanding on his thoughts about Messi, Ibra said: “Messi truly loves football as I do, and we both love to give back to the game. This is very important — giving back to the sport we love is a big part of our journey.”


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