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Zlatan voted Sweden's most popular sportsman

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Zlatan voted Sweden's most popular sportsman
11:14 CET+01:00
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, AC Milan star and captain of the national team, is by far the most popular sportsman in Sweden, a new survey published by Sveriges Television (SVT) and Aftonbladet on Wednesday showed.

Every fourth respondent placed the 29-year-old football star among their top three male stars, with the next best placed, cross-country skier Marcus Hellner notching only 10.2 percent, followed by fellow winter Olympian Björn Ferry, who fetched 6.2 percent.

After an average year by his standards in the colours of Barcelona, Ibrahimovic has taken the Serie A by storm after his return to Milan, winning plaudits from across the football world.

"He doesn't get the credit he deserves," said Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho only last week in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport.

But in Sweden, few sports stars are given the respect and admiration as the most famous son of one of Malmö's tougher neighbourhoods, Rosengård. Ibrahimovic has won the "Golden Ball" for best Swedish player, in five of the last six years, and he was named captain on his return to the Swedish national team in the autumn.

There are some regional differences in the support shown for Ibrahimovic in the poll, with him claiming the nomination of 10.2 percent of those resident in the north of Sweden, and a whopping 40.1 percent of those living in the populous south of the country.

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