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Zlatan voted Sweden's most popular sportsman

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 29 Dec 2010, 11:14

Published: 29 Dec 2010 11:14 GMT+01:00

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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.

Story continues below…

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.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:45 December 29, 2010 by Gabin
and Robin,,,
15:39 December 29, 2010 by Elias06
Yes what about Robin for me he is the best sportman of the year
16:13 December 29, 2010 by ChomskyReader
The only reason why Zlatan is Swedens number one sports personality is because you cannot get through a day without hearing/reading his name. Even if you are sat watching an English, German or French football game with Swedish commentators, they always have to throw his name in whenever commenting about the game which has nothing all to do with Zlatan, in all honesty it is getting quite tiresome and boring. A classic case of "if you tell someone the same thing enough times, eventually they will start to believe it"
16:30 December 29, 2010 by jbat
if Zlatan is US citizen... he may be richer than MJ..


so many americans complaining again....
18:00 December 29, 2010 by prince T
He is the most popular sportsman in Sweden period. I dont know what the arguement is all about. If one says he is nobody outside of Sweden I will also agree but in sweden he is KING . There is a saying that in the land of the blinds, the one eyed man is the king
00:25 December 30, 2010 by heu
Makes me wonder how popular he would be if he could actually play...
01:34 December 30, 2010 by blondelover
may we can send heu #7, gabin #1 into the football ground then will see what you guys are doing ... ! first motivate the player.. ! zlatan is the best player in the world.

hope robin can win the next fifa world cup with his skills....!! he seems to such an awesome ball kicker
07:43 December 30, 2010 by flintis
@prince T:- This mentally challenged "footballer" may well be the most popular (according to the idiot journalists who keep pushing his name in the press) among "Swedes", but he's certainly not the Swedish peoples most popular sportsperson, most of them think he's an arrogant prick!
08:02 December 30, 2010 by Rick Methven
@flintis"but he's certainly not the Swedish peoples most popular sportsperson, most of them think he's an arrogant prick!"

What did you do, fly to Sweden and interview everybody in the country?

Always amazes me how many "Experts" on Sweden trolling around on TL do not live here and most have never even been here, yet know exactly what those of us who have lived here for 30 years or more think.

I know, you are a Troll with powers to read the minds of 9 million people from afar:LOL
09:17 December 30, 2010 by flintis
@rickmethven:- I live here, are a Swedish National & know what most of the people I work & associate with think of Zlatan!

Maybe the most popular among the younger generation, but the more mature among us are not blinded by the hype!
09:48 December 30, 2010 by Ravioli
@filintis - I agree with you about the consensus amongst Swedes that Zlatan is an arrogant jerk-off. Apparently, accusing someone of commenting while 'not living in Sweden' is the new thing for certain trolls around here.

At any rate, from what I've heard, most agree that Zlatan is the most media-hyped but far from the most popular athlete. Henke Larsson, Glen Hysen, Thomas Ravelli and others were LOVED by most Swedes. Zlatan isn't even in that discussion.
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