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Zlatan Ibrahimovic: AC Milan striker says statue vandals are at ‘kindergarten level’

Zlatan Ibrahimovic says people who vandalised a statue of him earlier this year are “at kindergarten level” and that his story will “remain forever”.

The AC Milan striker is training at Swedish club Hammarby while Italy is in lockdown during the coronavirus crisis.

After he invested in Hammarby last year, vandals repeatedly defaced a statue of him outside boyhood club and rivals Malmo before it was eventually toppled and removed in January.

“It’s a shame,” Ibrahimovic told Dplay.

“They want attention and want the media to write about it – it’s at kindergarten level and we’re bigger than that.”

Talking about the vandalisation for the first time, he added: “The statue was what it was, but that doesn’t mean that my story will be torn down, it will remain forever.”

Former Sweden striker Ibrahimovic, 38, made his professional debut for Malmo 20 years ago but bought a 25% stake in Hammarby in November.

Ibrahimovic, who scored during a televised training match for Hammarby on Friday, said he now felt he had been “too kind” to Malmo by giving them 100m Swedish krona (£8.05m).

“I played for Malmo and I did what I did for Malmo, even though I was not welcome and was not wanted,” said Ibrahimovic, who left the club to join Ajax in 2001.

“They should be grateful, and those who know it, they know it.”

The former Juventus and Barcelona player rejoined Milan on a six-month deal in December after leaving LA Galaxy.

When asked about his future, Ibrahimovic said he will “see what happens” after he is able to return to Milan.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has said Serie A could return in late May or early June, having been suspended since 9 March.

“I have a contract with Milan and we will see how it ends there, if it ends,” said Ibrahimovic.

“I want to play football for as long as I can and be able to contribute something, not just play for what I have done or who I am.

“We’ll see what happens – who knew coronavirus would come and turn the world upside down in two weeks?”

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