Zlatan Ibrahimović’s interest in eSports

Zlatan Ibrahimović must be one of the busiest footballers on the planet. He’s played for some of the top teams in Europe winning plenty of titles. The Swede has just joined AC Milan, but he’ll have to juggle trying to resurrect their season with a number of business interests. One thing seems to be certain with him and that is there’ll be some controversy somewhere along the line.

Zlatan Ibrahimović has had great success on the pitch but it’s not just football that he is interested in. 2017 saw the Swede make an investment into Challengermode. The Swedish tech start-up also has an online competitive gaming platform. Their services include giving gamers the opportunity to try and win cash prizes playing esport titles such as ‘League of Legends.’ Eager to spread awareness of their product around the globe, getting the Swedish striker on board was a major deal for them.

It wasn’t his first foray into the world of esports. He’d previously purchased a 12.5% stake in the game development studio Ice Cube. He’s one of several top footballers such as Neymar who have stepped into the esports industry that continues to grow at a great pace.

The Swedish striker is certainly looking at making several investments and not all are being met with approval. He recently purchased a 23.6% stake in Swedish club Hammarby IF. Ibrahimović left LA Galaxy last year and when news broke of his link with Hammarby IF, there were rumours that he might be playing for them too when the new Swedish season begins. Those rumours were soon discounted but even so his purchase hasn’t gone down well in Malmo.

It’s understandable as they have a statue of Ibrahimović outside the ground where he started his career.  That had only been unveiled in October of last year, but no one expected his next actions. Now he’s a shareholder of one of their rivals and that statue has been having a rough time since the news broke of his purchase. There have been several attacks and a recent one saw the nose being hacked off the statue.

The link up with Hammarby – who finished third in the Swedish league last season – also has an esports connection. 2019 was an important year for Sweden when it came to esports. The Allsvenskan, which is the top league in Swedish football created an esports equivalent. The eAllsvenskan became part of the EA FIFA 19 Global Series and can be played on PlayStation 4. 12 teams joined this new esports league including the 2019 champions Djurgardens, Malmo FF, Orebro, Ostersunds, BK Hacken and Hammarby IF.

A new year has arrived and almost before the New Year’s celebration headaches have gone, Ibrahimović has finally signed for a new club. He’s returning to one of his former clubs and signed for AC Milan.

The Swedish striker played for the Italian club between 2010 and 2012 scoring 56 goals in 85 appearances for them.  He was on loan from Barcelona after he had an infamous bust-up with coach Pep Guardiola. AC Milan was the third Italian Serie A club that he’d played for having also had spells with Juventus and Inter Milan. Hopefully this time it’ll be a less controversial time with the club. His previous stay saw him suspended after a training ground argument with another player.

He joins a club that are having an appalling 2019/20 season. They are currently 11th in Serie A and have only scored 16 goals in 17 games. Their final match before the winter break saw them lose 5-0 away at Atalanta. They will be hoping that their returning striker will be able to score the goals that will revitalise their season. He’s signed a six-month contract that takes him to the end of this season but if all goes well, could be playing for them in the 2020/21 season too.

It’ll be amazing just how Ibrahimović will find time to concentrate on his playing career. As well as his football career and esports interests, Ibrahimović is a part-owner of the UK Casino and Sportsbook Bethard. There had been talk of him becoming involved with the site but that proved difficult while he was playing for Manchester United in the English Premier League.

Due to the strict gambling rules that are in force, it wasn’t possible for him to become involved with them. However, that problem came to an end when he left the Premier League and joined LA Galaxy in the American MLS. 

Ibrahimović became a co-owner and brand ambassador for Bethard “They are true challengers who really want to do things differently,” he said. Bethard ambassador Zlatan Ibrahimović can be seen all over the Bethard site which is becoming a growing force in the world of online betting and casino sites.

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