“Io, Ibra” Book Review

Written by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Lagercrantz, “Io, Ibra” sold 500,000 copies in Sweden and it is part of every fourth household there. The latest news from the co-author is that there is interest to turn it into a movie. What was it about?

A story of a ghetto-kid making it big. The American dream accomplished by a Swedish new face from a war-refugee family. A story on how to protect your own and blast everyone else.

Young Z @ Rosengård

It felt a little different than the other biographies because of its age. I heard it was done through interviews and during the read I got a feeling like most questions came from scandals or YouTube (marvelous addition to the stories if you know how to use it). Some might suggest it was all Ibra bragging about his triumphs and coming clean on selected episodes but he also sheds light on hard subjects like segregation, alcoholism, drug abuse and poverty.

At first it looked like a very honest piece to me. Zlatan talking about what happens behind the curtain and showing this to all who have been against him. After finishing, however, it seems like he picked his fights very carefully. He is very strategic as he says it himself. By the end it seems most of the episodes are him just advocating his point of view to set the record straight and punch out his opponents.

Mama said knock you out
Mama said knock you out

But I don’t hold it against him at all. As weird as it sounds it makes me respect him even more since this is like a first person view to the mindset he has. The confidence/arrogance he wears. He shows the attitude that is needed to carry on. Deep down I see a man who understands his faults but plays on his strengths. The most similar thing I’ve read is Salvador Dali’s “Diaries of a Genius”. Similarly, he criticizes everybody else while talking about his own grace although he has earned his spot in the history with such attitude. And if van Basten (another figure making a supportive role in the book) was called Leonardo da Vinci, Zlatan can take the odd-mustached egocentric place in his art.

Artist. Champion. Moustache.
Artist. Champion. Moustache.

The much furored book is everything you wanted it to be. To his followers it was like a bible, to his haters there was a sentence on every page to be ripped out and put into their context or logic. That’s what Zlatan is all about – hard to ignore, polarizing figure, unquestioned champion.

All pictures are from Bring Your Sister which is the best blog/site/place for picture-loving Ibraholics.

Author: Jasper

Maldini generation milanfan.

6 thoughts on ““Io, Ibra” Book Review”

  1. I really think footballers shouldn’t be allowed to do autobiographies till 5 years or more after they retire, they can view their situations in a more calm way, and they can reflect more on their mistakes or their virtues.

    On one hand, I can’t help but applaud him for working his ass off and bring himself out of a bad situation, and I find it lovely that he admits he wants to entertain the crowds and likes to give his fans attention. Plus I think it takes a lot of courage to admit that he wasn’t able to deal with his son’s situation when in the hospital, and that he admits to everyone how it was the weakest thing he could do, he could have easily saved that for us not to know, but didn’t.

    On the other hand it clearly shows why he hasn’t been able to make the final jump to be the no.1 in the world.

    Truth be told you can see a lot of “I’m a victim” all over the place when in the very same paragraph you understood why he wasn’t taken seriously. It wasn’t his background that made “rich kids parents” hate him, it was his attitude that turned people off. Not saying he didn’t suffer discrimination at all (pretty sure he did), just that I don’t believe most of the “hatin'” he got from rich kids parents was cause he was a poor inmigrant.

    And eventhough his childhood wasn’t exactly the best, I can’t help but feel it’s also exaggerated. His mom worked her ass off and hit him and his sister with spoons when they misbehaved (I got the belt treatment, big deal), his dad was a drunk that prefered to have no food (or just bread and butter which is not enough, but not as bad either, I mean for ex. Rivaldo suffered malnutrition, Zlatan was even able to say he didn’t want to eat more bread cause he was tired of it), but never did he hurt Zlatan (only if his sister was involved). Both his parents loved him, and protected him (to a point where you can see he wasn’t quite informed of the bad things going on till he got older) his sister and his half brother loved him and stayed together with him, he was given a good education (and prefered to wait to be a footballer to talk Tarzan italian instead of taking italian lessons seriously), had a place to sleep, had clothing and footwear…so basically it wasn’t the ideal situation, but considering everything, it wasn’t near as bad.

    On football, his talent, winning attitude and the fact that he trains hard are no doubt the reason he is where he is. But you can clearly see where that final step is missing…it’s all centered around Zlatan and what’s best for Zlatan, not what’s best for the team, or well to be fair Zlatan thinks that anything that goes through him is the best thing for any team his at, and it’s a good attittude to have (you have to be cocky to make it big), but you should have boundaries on it, and Zlatan doesn’t.

    And that’s key to his fall out with Barcelona’s enviroment, and his “no show” in Champions League. That and the fact that he’s surrounded by “yes” men all over the place, people that can’t seem to believe he has flaws and that he should try to adapt or stop thinking “everything trascendal has got to go through me”, no it’s always somebody else’s fault, the teamate that didn’t pass the ball well, the coach that changed his tactics (that made him the best in the world a year later), the poor team surrounding him, the Brocchi and Sheva that paired up in an unfair way to take the ball of from him at the 88th minute of a crucial game (ok I’m exaggerating then there). That’s the little yet huge gap between him being one of the best and not the best.

    I know it sounds like I’m taking a piss at him eventhough he really is a world class player, just that damn it, reading it I got frustrated cause I could clearly see why he hasn’t made that final step. But Zlatan kept hiding under the “stay true to yourself” bit (which he clearly doesn’t understand what it means cause being true to yourself implies much more than just keep doing what makes you happy and what you want to do…and it also implies more than being what he believes is being true to yourself…the mockery of Barcelona players-who I don’t particularly like-just cause they followed up instructions was quite ridiculous, specially when they have made that final step Zlatan keeps struggling with).

    All in all though I understand why he doesn’t want to admit any of that, and after all, no big self criticism on his footballing career will come out when he is still playing.

  2. As much as i love watching zlatan plays on the pitch,he has his flaws,all i want for him is to lift the champions league with my dear milan team,well i would love to have his book ‘i am zlatan’…He is such a force in attack,all defenders pray to avoid but only if he ca n do away with the arrogant manners of his,i will love to see him win the ballo d’or award before he finally call it quit in football…i love zlatan …i love ac milan.

  3. zlatan is one of my best player in milan and wish him best of luck because no better player come to milan and leave without not collecting any individual award so as a milan fan I wish him also the best of luck. Please I will love to have a copie of is book

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