Zlatan Doesn’t Exist


Elko Born takes a second look at the literature written on Zlatan Ibrahimović and ponders whether the Paris Saint-Germain striker is all but a pony-tailed mirage…

While reading the news section of a serious newspaper, you probably take the factivity of their articles at face value. We assume that’s what serious newspapers are there for: reporting factual happenings that have taken place in the real world.

By utilizing the journalistic reputation of a respected publication, texts presenting themselves as news articles lay claim to the truth. In comparison, it’s unlikely that you’d ever read a novel – let’s say 1984 by George Orwell – and say to yourself: ‘Back in 1984 Britain was ruled by a dictator? Blimey, I never knew that. Luckily we have elections nowadays.’?

We recognize that novels are different from those aforementioned news articles. You recognize a novel as fiction: you know that the events described in novels are to some extent untrue, made up or elaborated upon; fantasies produced by an author’s creative imagination. Without that artistic license and embellishment, it wouldn’t be a novel at all, but rather a news article, report or maybe some other type of text sprung from the world of journalism.

Enter I Am Zlatan. First published in 2011, it is a book that tells the life story of Swedish super-striker Zlatan Ibrahimović. And I mean the whole story: from its downtrodden bike stealing lows to ecstatic, Champions League goalscoring highs, it’s all in there, recounted in superb fashion. Continue reading