Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was transferred from Barcelona to A.C. Milan last week. The deal was officially a one year loan with the option to purchase. Just one year ago Ibrahimovic had been sent from Inter Milan to Barcelona in a celebrated move for Samuel Eâ€™to. But Ibra never got settled in Barcelona, encountering lack of success on the pitch and much criticism off of it. And ultimately, he developed a reputation, perhaps unfairly, for being moody and inconsistent. This reputation was further underscored after he quit international competition for Sweden after they were eliminated from World Cup qualification last fall.
Ibrahimovic is the product of a Bosnian father and a Croatian mother, but he was born and raised in Malmo, Sweden, a city that has one of the largest Muslim populations in all of Europe. He went on to star for such big football clubs as Ajax in Holland and Juventus in Italy, before moving on to Inter Milan. His transfer from Inter Milan to Barcelona last year holds the record for the second highest transfer fee, 69 million euros, in football history. And at one time last year, Ibrahimovic and another player, Kaka of Real Madrid, were the two highest paid football players in the entire world.
Well, he has now been sent back to the fashion capital of Italy, with a chance to rehabilitate his career and resuscitate his image. The reported purchase price is 24 million euros should Milan choose to keep him permanently. Ibrahimovic seems happy with the move, and he has since resumed playing for Sweden in international competition, which seems to have lifted his spirits as well. Perhaps this change of scenery will give the talented striker a chance to remind everyone that it was not too long ago that he was one of the most feared goal-scorers in the whole world.