Furore over toppled Zlatan statue in Sweden

A statue of the Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimović in Malmö was sawn off at the ankles and toppled by unidentified persons on Saturday night. The sculpture had already been vandalised on previous occasions. The Malmö-born footballer's announcement that he is becoming a shareholder in Stockholm's first division club Hammarby IF apparently triggered this latest attack. Was this the dangerous overreaction of angry fans or a welcome boost for Zlatan?

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Expressen (SE) /

Malmö has missed its chance

In Expressen's view the affair is damaging for the city as a whole:

“What Malmö needs is luxury, glamour, joy, ingenuity and international attention that doesn't revolve around shootings and bombs. And it got it with Zlatan. Now Malmö has ruined all that in the truest sense of the word. ... Cockiness and stubbornness have always been Zlatan's trademarks. But when he purchased a stake in Hammarby it was just too much for some of his 'fans'. ... And the worst thing isn't that a couple of guys destroyed his statue. The worst thing is that many people sympathise with them - ordinary people, mostly men, who have no problem with such behaviour. ... That's so unworthy, so objectionable. It's simply unfathomable.”

Aftonbladet (SE) /

Hatred doesn't harm Zlatan, on the contrary

Aftonbladet believes that adversity only makes Ibrahimović stronger:

“Zlatan needs hate to live. The saw cuts in the statue's feet, the spray paint on its body, the noose around its neck and the plastic bag over its head: every bit of criticism aimed at him seems to be something he was looking for, expected and welcomed. There is no better fuel for the future. Hatred promotes self-confidence and dispels self-doubt. It numbs fear and strengthens courage.”