Paris resident Zlatan Ibrahimovic was awarded the prize by the Society for Expatriate Swedes (Föreningen svenskar i världen) at a hotel in Stockholm’s Humlegården on Sunday night, as he is unexpected to be available for the official ceremony in August due to his busy schedule abroad.
In presenting the award, the society praised both Ibrahimovic’s career, which has seen him playing in four different countries, but also his image as a role model in Sweden.
“Through his magnificent football career, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has become one of Sweden’s most beloved sportsmen and a role model for many youths with football dreams,” the society reasoned, according to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.
“Through his career in many different countries, he has shown the ability to perform at the highest level in diverse environments.”
“Through his auto-biography, I am Zlatan Ibrahimovic, which has sold record amounts, Zlatan has won many hearts both in Sweden and abroad. The book has also stirred many young people’s interest in reading.”
In winning the award, which was founded in 1988, Zlatan joins the likes of author Astrid Lindgren, Abba stars Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad, and politician Hans Blix.
There are roughly half a million Swedes living abroad.