A strong, athletic presence for a lot of groups all through his profession, his opponents are at all times conscious of a background in combating
Zlatan Ibrahimovic likes to remind the world that he’s not your common human, famously declaring himself a lion and even a god.
Standing at six foot 5 inches, the towering Swede is actually a formidable bodily specimen and he continues to defy the march of time by starring for AC Milan in Serie A.
Ibrahimovic’s sheer dimension and power is one thing that has made him a nightmare for even probably the most fearsome defenders, however he’s additionally extremely nimble.
A background in martial arts is usually raised as one of many causes for the striker’s distinctive athleticism, in addition to his enduring health. The aptitude has additionally augmented the sense of worry he can strike into some opponents.
Certainly, if Zlatan ever finds himself in an altercation with an opponent – as happened with Romelu Lukaku in 2021, for example – his followers will incessantly argue that he would come out on high because of having a black belt.
Is it true although? Objective brings you all the small print.
Does Zlatan Ibrahimovic have a black belt?
Zlatan was awarded an honorary taekwondo black belt in 2010 throughout his first stint at AC Milan.
The belt was offered to Ibrahimovic by Mauro Sarmiento, a martial artist who gained a silver medal for Italy on the 2008 Olympics, in recognition of the Swede’s promotion of the self-discipline.
Whereas an honorary black belt is a present, it’s truthful to say that Ibrahimovic’s capability is real and, in keeping with the Daily Telegraph he first earned a black belt on the age of 17.
Certainly, the previous Manchester United man has referred to the truth that he has a black belt on quite a lot of events over time and it’s one thing that has figured prominently all through his profession.
— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) March 19, 2019
In addition to producing an array of acrobatic objectives – such as his famous overhead kick against England in 2012 – Ibrahimovic has a popularity for touchdown kicks on his team-mates in coaching. He even playfully clashed with Antonio Cassano whereas the Italian was giving a post-match TV interview in 2011.
The Malmo native skilled at Enighet (which means Unity) in his hometown as a teen and the top of that organisation, Leif Almo, believes that the striker may properly have excelled in taekwondo.
“Had he had the identical give attention to taekwondo as he has had on soccer, and been in a position to guess in the identical manner, it’s clear that he may have been simply nearly as good,” Almo instructed Fotbolls Expressen in 2010.
Nonetheless, for all of the machismo and playful kicking, how would Ibrahimovic really fare in an actual struggle?
We all know that the Swede brawled with former AC Milan team-mate Oguchi Onyewu, himself an enormous and imposing defender, during a training session in 2010, however it’s unclear who got here out on high.
Massimo Oddo, who was there on the time, recalled in 2020: “They got here to blows, however nothing extreme. [Gennaro] Gattuso tried to divide them and took a really sturdy punch to the face.”
Ibrahimovic likened Onyewu to a heavyweight boxer and stated in his e book that he suffered damaged ribs by the hands of the previous USMNT star, including that they have been near killing one another.
Onyewu admitted in 2020 that “there are some truths, there are some lies” within the ahead’s accounts of the struggle, coyly telling ESPN FC: “Whether or not I broke his ribs or not, I am not going to touch upon it.”
He’s actually not the one fellow skilled to go face to face with Ibrahimovic, who isn’t one to again down from a problem.
The Swede has had his fair proportion of high-profile on-field spats.
Former Manchester Metropolis defender Nedum Onuoha collided with Ibrahimovic whereas taking part in for Actual Salt Lake towards LA Galaxy in 2019 and claimed that the Swede threatened him.
Afterwards, Onuoha instructed KSL: “He got here right here to apologise after the sport as a result of from 60 minutes in, he’s saying to me he’s going to do me, he’s going to harm me for that recreation – and that is the man who’s the face of the MLS as he calls himself, however that is the best way he performs on the sector.
“So I don’t care. You don’t say that on the sector. I’m not going to simply accept his apologies. It’s unacceptable.”
Extra lately, Ibrahimovic squared as much as Romelu Lukaku throughout a Milan derby towards long-standing rivals Inter. The pair butted heads earlier than exchanging insults, however by no means really got here to blows.
Apparently, when Ibrahimovic was taking part in for Manchester United, British UFC welterweight fighter Danny Roberts joked that he would haven’t any difficulty combating Ibrahimovic.
“If he’s keen to struggle I am right here,” Roberts stated forward of a 2016 UFC occasion. “Yeah I’d wish to see him within the Octagon, see what he’s received.”