Former Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has become co-owner of Swedish top-flight side Hammarby IF.
The Swedish legend uploaded a short clip on his official Instagram account of a Hammarby IF jersey on Tuesday, with his name depicted on the club’s kit.
Ibrahimovic also tagged the Swedish top-flight club in his post, leading to speculation that he was potentially joining the club on a free transfer.
Ibra to Hammarby IF? Five things to know…
- Ibrahimovic is a free agent after his two-year spell with LA Galaxy ended this month.
- The veteran marksman has been linked with numerous clubs including Tottenham Hotspur and AC Milan.
- Jose Mourinho – who worked alongside the striker at Inter Milan and Man Utd – recently ended speculation of a reunion.
- On Tuesday morning Ibra uploaded an Instagram post of Hammarby IF’s traditional green and white strip.
- It has now been confirmed that he has, in fact, become a part-owner of the club.
Ibrahimovic is currently a free agent after bringing down the curtain on his two-year stateside sojourn, parting ways with LA Galaxy earlier this month.
The likes of Spurs and former club AC Milan have been mooted as possible destinations for Ibrahimovic, but current Spurs boss Jose Mourinho recently poured cold water on suggestions of a third link-up between himself and the forward.
Ibrahimovic seemingly looked destined for a return to his homeland after his not so cryptic social media post, but speculation remains up in the air with it now being confirmed the forward has, in fact, purchased a 50 per cent stake in AEG Sweden.
Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) also own LA Galaxy and have now sold half their stake in the Swedish club to their former striker.
“Hammarby is a fantastic club with passionate supporters and has great respect in both Stockholm and Sweden,” Ibrahimovic told the club’s official website.
“I have always liked the club and the fans, since then I am impressed with what the club has done in recent years, both on and off the pitch.
“Being able to join and develop Hammarby forward feels both fun and exciting.”
However, not everyone in Sweden believes this new venture for Ibrahimovic will be “fun and exciting”, with supporters of his boyhood club Malmo not happy with the decision.
Vice chairman of fan group MFF Support Kaveh Hosseinpour, told Fotbollskanalen: “Of the reactions I have sent to me so far, I have not heard anyone who thinks this is good.
“Everyone is extremely critical. Some are disappointed, some are angry and some think it is idiotic.
“He has probably lost his grip on what he means to Malmo. He misunderstands his position a little when he says that Malmo will be happy for his sake.
“There is no one in Malmo who runs around in an LA Galaxy shirt and plays with Ibrahimovic on his back.”
Supporters of Malmo erected a statue of their former star last month, but Hosseinpour insists the golden effigy ‘no longer matters’.
He added: “That statue will no longer matter now, considering where it stands and what he does now.
“He actively wants another club to be better than the club that made him what he is.”
Ibrahimovic has rarely gone down the conventional route. After all, who can forget his recent video regarding a potential move to La Liga which swiftly turned out to be a marketing ploy?
So, who exactly are the Swedish club being linked with one of football’s most recognised and revered characters?
Who are Hammarby IF?
Founded in 1897, Hammarby IF are one of the most well-supported football clubs in all of Sweden, and currently play in the Allsvenskan.
The Stockholm-based club ply their trade at the Tele2 Arena, which holds more than 30,000 supporters, and finished third last season.
They are not a club renowned for winning silverware, having been crowned Swedish Champions just once in 2001, but they are an integral part of the furniture in the Allsvenskan, and one of the biggest Nordic clubs.
Bajen – the club’s nickname – were, in fact, believed to be the first club to introduce singing on the terraces in Sweden, taking inspiration from English fans in the 1970s.
Their anthem “Just Idag Ar Jag Stark” (“Today I am strong”) is one of the most recognised chants in Sweden and has been the club’s entrance music since 2004.
With such an intense and passionate fanbase, Ibrahimovic will surely be worshipped and immortalised by the supporters if he does indeed join Hammarby IF.