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Man United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 35 things about the star on 35th birthday

Zlatan Ibrahimovic turns 35 today. So here are 35 things about the Manchester United star.

Family background

1. Zlatan was brought into the world by a Croatian Christian mother and Bosnian Muslim father.

2. His parents split up while he was growing up in the Malmo ghetto of Rosengard.

3. Zlatan stole when he needed something -- with bikes being a speciality of his.

4. The Swede's partner is Helena Seger, a businesswoman who he met in 2002.

5. Two young sons, Maximilian and Vincent, are part of the family -- along with bulldog Truster.

Early career

6. He signed for Malmo at the age of 16 and was quickly accused of ego and disrespect.

7. His reaction to being offered a trial with Arsenal in 2000 was "no way, Zlatan doesn't do auditions."

8. Zlatan's mum only found out about his move to Ajax when she saw the news on the television

9. Mido said that he once "nearly killed" Zlatan by throwing a pair of scissors at him during a bust-up at Ajax. 

10. He clashed with Ajax teammate Rafael van der Vaart -- while they were playing for their countries, then joined Juventus.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's golazo versus NAC Breda was also his last goal scored in an Ajax jersey.
Zlatan began his career at Malmo, then moved to Ajax.

Italian renaissance

11. In his book "I am Zlatan," the striker said that at Juventus "it started to get known that I have a temper."

12. When the Swede moved to Inter Milan, manager Jose Mourinho told his wife to "feed Zlatan, let him sleep, keep him happy." 

13. Ibrahimovic enjoyed the way Mourinho motivated the Inter team -- which included kicking a flip chart across a room

14. At AC Milan, Zlatan said he had a training ground fight with Oguchi Onyewu that was "like life and death."

15. He had a sensational run of winning a league title every year from 2004 to 2011 -- but it ended when AC Milan finished second in 2012.

He struggled at Barcelona.

Barcelona bust-ups

16. Barcelona president Joan Laporta admitted they had signed a player who was "not a conformist" -- and was proved right.

17. Zlatan felt that the La Liga giants had "bought a Ferrari but drive it like a Fiat," referring to the way he was managed,

18. The striker confronted manager Pep Guardiola, accused him of being scared of Mourinho, and kicked a box of training gear.

19. Players were not allowed to bring sports cars to training -- but he turned up in a Ferrari.

20. His friends from Rosengard wanted to visit and smash the training ground up. "Of course that was nice of them, but it didn't really seem like the right strategy under the circumstances," he wrote.

Parisian legend

21. After moving to France, Ibrahimovic said that if he could not find an apartment he could buy his hotel.

22. Zlatan became Paris Saint-Germain's all-time top scorer with his 152 goals helping to win four titles in a row.

23. He scored 50 goals in a season, for the first time in his career, during his final campaign in France.

24. "I came like a hero, I left like a legend" -- Zlatan's verdict on his spell in Paris.

25. Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi agreed to let Zlatan come back one day in a management role.

Ibrahimovic is a national hero for Sweden.

National hero

26. Zlatan is Sweden's all-time record goal scorer, having netted 62 times in 116 games for his country.

27. When Norway's John Carew criticised him in 2002, Zlatan said "what Carew does with a football, I can do with an orange." 

28. He failed to score a single international goal for Sweden, in both 2006 and 2007, as he clashed with management.

29. Zlatan silenced his critics in England in 2012 by scoring four goals against them, including a spectacular acrobatic effort.

30. When Sweden missed out on Brazil 2014, he said: "A World Cup without me is nothing to watch."

United spearhead

31. Zlatan refused to confirm a move to United in the months leading up to it, saying: "When I am tired of it, I will let you know where I will go."

32. His goal against Bournemouth meant he had found the net on his maiden appearances in the Champions League, Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 and the Premier League.

33. Mourinho has been happy to give "extra days off for the big guy."

34. Zlatan recently played in the Europa League for the first time in 15 years, since his Ajax days when it was called the UEFA Cup.

35. After a busy start to the season, Zlatan is able to rest as United do not have a game for a full fortnight -- starting today. Happy Birthday.

Arindam is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @ARejSport.


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