Stockholm - Zlatan
Ibrahimovic has acquired roughly a quarter of the shares in
Stockholm-based football team Hammarby, the club said on Wednesday.
The 38-year-old former Juventus, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and
Manchester United forward has bought 50 percent of American sporting and
entertainment company Anschutz Entertainment Group's (AEG) stake in the
Swedish team, according to a separate statement by AEG.
AEG also owns LA Galaxy where Ibrahimovic has played the last two MLS
seasons, although he has confirmed he will leave when his contract runs
out at the end of the year.
Ibrahimovic had hinted that something was in the works earlier this
week when he posted a short video on Instagram showing a football jersey
in Hammarby's colours and the name Ibrahimovic on the back.
He said he would not have a playing role for Hammarby.
"For 10 years I’ve said I won’t return to Allsvenskan (Sweden's top
league). It’s not going to happen," he told sports magazine
"I had agreed with the team from Hammarby and AEG to get this thing
as global as possible. We were to be seen all over the world. Not just
"This is still new to us, but of course very exciting," Hammarby's chairman Richard von Yxkull said in a statement.
The club was originally founded in the late 19th century, although it
only started a football club in 1915. It has only won the Swedish title
once - in 2001.
Hammarby are also rivals of Malmo FF (MFF), the club where Ibrahimovic started his professional career in 1999.
Such is the love for him at Malmo that a statue of Ibrahimovic was
unveiled outside their stadium in October but he does not anticipate any
backlash from his hometown fans.
"I know they won't be disappointed. What I have done for MFF will
last for ever. This is completely different situation. It has nothing to
do with where my career started," he told Sportbladet.
But some supporters where less than pleased to learn of Ibrahimovic's new stake in a rival club.
"I feel bad for Zlatan. He's burnt every bridge to MFF," Kaveh
Hosseinpour, vice-president of MFF's supporters' club, told broadcaster
Hosseinpour added that Ibrahimovic's main contribution to MFF was "being sold for a lot of money."
"Since then he hasn't done much more."