Vandals knock over Ibrahimovic statue in latest attack

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s statue has fallen.

A monument of the superstar in his hometown of Malmo, Sweden was knocked over on Sunday after vandals sawed it off at the ankles and covered its face with a shirt bearing the Swedish flag.

There was also graffiti, written in Swedish, that read “take away”.

The statue has since been removed for repairs, a spokesperson for the Malmo municipality’s sport and recreation department told BBC Sport.

It’s understood that Malmo FF fans have targeted the monument in response to Ibrahimovic, who rejoined AC Milan on a six-month contract last month, buying a stake in one of the Swedish club’s rivals, Hammarby.

It’s the fourth time that the statue has been vandalized since its unveiling outside of Malmo FF’s stadium in October.

JOHAN NILSSON / AFP / Getty

Vandals attempted to set the monument on fire hours after Ibrahimovic’s partnership with Hammarby was announced in November.

Last month, there was an attempt to saw off the statue’s legs. Later, the nose on the sculpture was cut off.

Despite the spate of attacks, the statue is expected to return to its original site after repairs are completed.

“I can understand that many people are disappointed in Zlatan’s behavior, but vandalizing a statute is simply unworthy,” Malmo deputy mayor Frida Trollmyr said in an interview with AFP.

“Better to express your dissatisfaction in a democratic way.”

Ibrahimovic is expected to make his second debut for Milan during Monday’s Serie A match against Sampdoria. He previously spent two seasons at Milan from 2010 to 2012 and helped the club win its last league title.

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