Speculation about the footballer's return to Sweden had been building after he shared a picture of the Hammarby shirt emblazoned with his name on social media.
The news hasn't been well-received by everyone, since Hammarby are rivals of Malmö FF, the club where Ibrahimovic started out as a professional footballer in 1999.
“This is not burning bridges. It’s blowing up the bridge with an atomic bomb and leaving behind a desolate and deep abyss.” Yup, Malmö’s totally cool with Zlatan investing in a Stockholm team, no sweat. ? | via @sydsvenskan https://t.co/LE2frpK9W6
— Emma Löfgren (@ekjlofgren) November 27, 2019
Speaking to sports magazine Sportbladet, Ibrahimovic said his plan was to help make Hammarby “the best in Scandinavia”.
The club has only won the Swedish title once, almost two decades ago in 2001.
“I don't think it's a surprise that he chose Hammarby to invest in if he was thinking of investing,” football reporter Lee Roden told The Local.
“They have close ties to LA Galaxy where he was playing, so he will have had great access to their operations behind the scenes, and as he rightly pointed out, they have huge potential. It's a strategic move that shows Zlatan or whoever is advising him has been paying close attention to detail.”
Ibrahimovic currently plays for LA Galaxy, but has confirmed plans to leave when his contract runs out later this year.
He has bought half of the shares held by American sports and entertainment company Anschutz Entertainment Group's (AEG) in Hammarby. AEG also owns LA Galaxy and had 47 percent of the total shares in Hammarby, meaning Ibrahimovic now owns just under 24 percent.
Ibrahimovic confirmed that he won't be playing for Hammarby, but said: “I look forward to working with football from a different angle. Not just on the pitch.”
He told Sportbladet that his existing relationship with AEG and connection to Sweden meant the opportunity was “impossible to refuse”.
league – (en) liga
shareholder – (en) delägare
quarter – (en) fjärdedel
football shirt – (en) matchtröja
opportunity – (en) möjlighet
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