Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Malmo Statue Set on Fire After Becoming Hammarby Part Owner

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 24:  Zlatan Ibrahimovic #9 of Los Angeles Galaxy reacts to the referee for a foul during a 5-3 LAFC win in the Western Conference Semifinals at Banc of California Stadium on October 24, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

A statue of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his native Malmo, Sweden, was set on fire Wednesday in an apparent reaction to the legendary striker purchasing a stake in rival club Hammarby.

ESPN reported the news. Here's a look at the fire:

Ibrahimovic recently parted ways with the MLS' Los Angeles Galaxy after two years with the club.

"Hammarby is a fantastic club with passionate supporters and has great respect in both Stockholm and Sweden," he said. "I have always liked the club and the fans. I am impressed with what the club has done in recent years, both on and off the pitch. Being able to join and develop Hammarby forward feels both fun and exciting."

The 38-year-old striker started his football career with Malmo as a youth player and has gone on to make stops with some of the sport's biggest clubs—Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United.

Kaveh Hosseinpour, the vice-chairman of Malmo's supporters' group, told Steve Douglas of the Associated Press they were caught off guard by Ibra's Hammarby decision.

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"A betrayal became a betrayal and a provocation," Hosseinpour said. "So he basically stuck a knife in our backs, and then he came along with a sword and chopped off our heads."

Along with his decorated club career, Ibrahimovic made 116 appearances for Sweden at the international level.