Zlatan celebrates ‘most played’ national anthem

Zlatan celebrates 'most played' national anthem
Zlatan Ibrahimovic training this week. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT
Sweden's star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has won a gold disc for his version of the Swedish national anthem 'Set You Free' and suggested that with three million streams, it had become the "most widely played national anthem ever".
The Sweden and Paris Saint Germain player became the the best goal scorer in the history of the Nordic nation a year ago and earlier this month emerged as the top striker for his French club side. Now it seems he is setting the music charts alight as well.
The Malmö-born star released his own spoken-word version of Sweden's national anthem 'Du Gamla, Du Fria' last year in collaboration with Volvo and with the help of his friend, music producer Max Martin.
It seems that Swedes have rushed to listen to the alternative arrangement, with Ibrahimovic invited to accept a gold disc on Monday, in recognition of the number of times it has been streamed.
“My Gold Record Award for 3,000,000 Swedish streams of my version of the National anthem,” the footballer wrote on Instagram, beneath a photo of him holding a framed poster celebrating his success.
“Rumour has it that it’s the most streamed national anthem ever… Either way, it’s pretty cool,” he added.
The player, whose parents were born in Bosnia and Croatia, does not sing Sweden's usual national anthem during international tournaments. He told Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri last year that he felt it was “tedious” and hoped his alternative anthem would become more popular.
The 34-year-old added that his rendition demonstrated that “we are all different, yet similar”.
His song recently hit the headlines after pupils in southern Sweden campaigned to sing it at school, but were stopped by teachers who argued that their “multicultural” efforts could instead promote xenophobia.
One of Sweden's most famous sport stars, Ibrahimovic's career is already lined with a plethora of non-football related feats. He has published a best-selling biography, had his face sold as artwork, and released a perfume for fans wanting to smell like him. Last week he confirmed for the first time that he was in talks to turn his life story into a movie.