Zlatan Ibrahimovic, (born October 3, 1981) is a Swedish football player of Bosniak and Croatian descent. He plays as a striker. He currently plays for Inter Milan, in Italy, and for the Sweden national football team.

Ibrahimovic was born in Sweden as the son of immigrants from former Yugoslavia. His father was born in Bijeljina (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and his mother in Zadar (Croatia). His parents met in Sweden and Zlatan grew up in Rosengård, a Malmö neighborhood known for its immigrant communities, where he also successfully completed junior high school (ninth grade). Although, thereafter admitted to Borgarskolan in Malmö, he soon discontinued high school in order to focus on his football career. Ibrahimovic began playing football at the age of ten. His initial local club was called FK Balkan, whose participants unsurprisingly were Bosnian and Somalian immigrants of the Rosengård neighborhood. In 1995 he joined Malmö FF.

Ibrahimovic made his debut in the Swedish national team in a goal-less friendly match against Faroe Islands January 31, 2001. The match only featured players from the Scandinavian Leagues. The first competitive game he played in for the national team was the World Cup qualifying game against Azerbaijan in October 7 the same year. Ibrahimovic was included in Sweden's 2002 World Cup squad that managed to go through to the finals despite playing in the Group of Death against Argentina, England and Nigeria. He only played for 45 minutes but nearly made the telling contribution in Sweden's eventual Golden Goal defeat at the hands of Senegal.

Ibrahimovic was a regular starter for Sweden in the campaign for Euro 2004, and after a fine season in Ajax he was well prepared for Euro 2004 in Portugal. He joined a fine Swedish team featuring Celtic star Henrik Larsson and Arsenal winger Fredrik Ljungberg. Ibrahimovic did well, scoring a penalty goal against Bulgaria and rounding off a fine performance against the solid defense of Italy by scoring an amazing late equaliser. He jumped up in the air with his back to goal and kicked the ball one-and-a-half meters above the ground with his back heel into Buffon's top corner. Ibrahimovic is well known for his agility and his ability to score goals with his feet high up in the air, and perhaps this stems from the fact that he practiced tae kwon do as a youth.[citation needed] The tournament ended, though, with Sweden losing to Holland on penalties in the quarterfinals. Zlatan was one of the Swedes who missed a penalty.

Ibrahimovic contributed heavily to Sweden's successful attempt to qualify to the 2006 World Cup. Both Sweden and Ibrahimovic were thought to under-achieve in the tournament, though. He was substituted at half time in one game, against Paraguay, and did not participate in another, against England, due to a groin injury. How much his performances in the other games were affected by this is hard to know. Sweden was knocked out in the 2nd round by Germany.

Not long after his awaited transfer to Inter, Ibrahimovic was called up to the Sweden squad to face Liechtenstein in the European Championship Qualifiers. While the squad was gathered at the players hotel, Zlatan and his teammates Christian Wilhelmsson and Olof Mellberg decided to break the squad curfew by going out to a nearby nightclub. Notable is that none of the players stated above had anything to drink. The coaches of the national team, Lars Lagerbäck and Roland Andersson, decided that the three players should be sent home. Thus, they did not take part in the game against Liechtenstein.

Mellberg and Wilhelmsson grudgingly accepted the punishment, but Ibrahimovic felt that it was unjust. Thus, he refused to take part in the following games against Iceland and Spain. Sweden went on to win these matches without Ibrahimovic. He also refused to take part in a friendly match against Egypt on February 7, but it has been reported lately that Ibrahimovic agreed to return to Swedish national team.[3] On March 28th, 2007, in a European Championship Qualifier game, Zlatan made his return. In the last match against Denmark Ibrahimovic, responded to his critics, mesmerizing the audience with brilliant football, earning standing ovations as well as the Man of the Match award.