The Swede stated that he thought his former club’s fans would be happy for him – but that does not appear to be the case
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s decision to buy a stake in Swedish side Hammarby has been met with disappointment and anger amongst the fanbase of his former club Malmo, with the striker’s actions branded ‘idiotic’ by supporters.
The former LA Galaxy man, currently without a club, announced the news on Wednesday and in an interview with Aftonbladet stated that he felt Malmo fans would be happy for him as it has nothing to do with his legacy as a player.
“This has nothing to do with Malmo,” he said. “When it comes to Malmo we talk about the footballer Zlatan. I think they’ll respect that in Malmo.
“I have a good relationship with the club and always have. This has nothing to do with me as a football player. I think those in Malmo will be happy for me.”
However, vice chairman of Malmo’s official supporter group (MFF), Kaveh Hosseinpour, has stated that Ibrahimovic has wildly misjudged the situation and that fans are infuriated by their former hero’s decision.
“I haven’t heard anyone who thinks this is good,” Hosseinpour told Fotbollskanalen. “Everyone is extremely critical. Some are disappointed, some are angry and others think it’s idiotic. It’s not ‘happy’ news, it’s a development that feels uncomfortable and wrong.
“He probably forgot what he means to Malmo. He misunderstands his position when he says that Malmo will be happy for his sake. We’re not happy. I don’t think anyone is particularly happy for his sake.
“There is no one in Malmo who runs around in an LA Galaxy shirt with Ibrahimovic on the back – here you play with [captain Marcus] Rosenberg on your back. I think he overestimates how much he means to us. That’s how it is.”
A statue of the striker was recently erected outside of Malmo’s stadium to commemorate Ibrahimovic’s career and achievements, but Hosseinpour says that the bust will no longer be a source of pride for the club’s faithful.
“The statue doesn’t matter now considering where it stands,” he said. “He actively wants another club to be better than the club that made him what he is. He opposes Malmo as a city. The club means a lot to the city and now Zlatan is fighting against us.”
Of what Ibra will be remembered for at the club in the wake of the news, Hosseinpour put it bluntly: “He’ll be remembered as the player that was sold for £7 million and not much else.”