Former Oasis star Noel Gallagher, who was on tour in Stockholm with his current band High Flying Birds on Thursday, compared Sweden’s best striker in history to his estranged brother Liam, telling Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, “this guy is a fucking idiot”.
“I do not like him, he is full of crap. He’s like my brother, he talks a lot, but cannot back up what he says. Cool tattoos, big mouth,” he added.
While Zlatan also has a reputation for making his own divisive comments in Sweden, the footballer, who plays for French Ligue 1 side PSG, is a national hero after becoming Scandinavia’s top scorer in history.
By Friday morning, news of the British musician’s controversial thoughts about the striker was among the most shared stories in Sweden.
Aftonbladet reader Alexander Chris commented that Gallagher “imagines that he is some sort of celebrity, when he is actually a b-list artist”.
Palle Westling wrote on the newspaper’s website that the former Oasis singer had “a distorted self-image when it comes to their own excellence and importance”.
On Twitter, user @hurricanejinx wrote in English: “Is Noel Gallagher always an asshole or…?”.
But others questioned Aftonbladet’s reporter Dante Tomsen for his interview topics, which also included the Eurovision Song Contest and Sweden’s recent win in the Under-21 European Championships, neither of which the Britpop star was aware of.
“Seriously? you asked Noel if the Eurovision Song Contest? why? This is a highly intelligent man,” wrote Henrik Rundberg, adding that the musician “ought to be in the media much more” to encourage young people not to believe in “the crap that the newspapers are filled with today”.
He added that “of course he hates Zlatan” but joked that could all change if the striker ever joined the former Oasis star’s beloved premier league side Manchester City.
Noel’s comments came after the singer was shown a series of pictures of Swedish celebrities, with Zlatan the only person he was able to recognize.
When told that one photo was of Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven, he said:
“Is that your Prime Minister?! Ha! He looks like an American gangster…Robert de Niro or someone else in ‘Goodfellas’.”
Looking at a picture of Swedish dance music star Robyn, he told Aftonbladet:
“I recognise her. Or is it a guy? Is it Robyn?…She looks grumpy.”
Is Noel Gallagher always an asshole or…?
— Jinx (@hurricanejinx) July 3, 2015
Despite his headline-grabbing comments about Scandinavian icons, Gallagher said “I like Sweden and the Swedish bands I have met,” noting that he had toured with Swedish group Soundtrack of our Lives and Caesars.
He said he and his seven-year-old son were currently enjoying listening to up-and-coming Nordic band Goat.
When the reporter asked Gallagher what he thought about what he was being asked, he said that he would “obviously ask more interesting questions”.
But according to Aftonbladet, he paused for some time when asked what his alternative queries would be before finally replying: “I would ask myself why I’m so fucking brilliant at what I do.”
The star’s fans certainly seemed pleased with his performance at the Gröna Lund theme park in Stockholm, where he performed Oasis hits including ‘Whatever’ and ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ alongside new material from High Flying Birds.
— Tero Kallioniemi (@terokallioniemi) July 2, 2015