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Zlatan Ibrahimovic..

Zlatan Ibrahimovic broke protocol during appearance at Malmo's title celebrations

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic is adored by supporters almost everywhere he goes - even if he has played for both Milan clubs - but few love him quite like Malmo fans.

The 36-year-old's star-studded career was born at the Swedish club where he rose through the ranks in his early teens before spending three seasons with the first-team.

However, although Ibrahimovic himself enjoyed ample success to tie down an Ajax move, the performance of the team as a whole was very different to their contemporaries.

Ibrahimovic spent his first full-season with Malmo in Sweden's second division - the Superettan - after a thirteenth place finish warranted relegation in his official, debut campaign.

Nevertheless, it treated their lead striker well as his 14 goals in 29 appearances warrant a swift return, even if it also spelt his individual exit.

And while Ibrahimovic has since swept up trophies like they're going out of fashion with Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, PSG and Manchester United, Malmo have also adopted an upward trajectory.

The club ended a 16 year wait for the Allsvenskan in 2004 before a spell of five league titles in just seven years in the 2010s.

There was another first place finish for Malmo in the 2017 season and who better to present the award than their finest son - Ibrahimovic himself?

FBL-WC2014-SWE-KAZ

Ibrahimovic entered the field to a standing ovation at the Swedbank Stadion with the Swedish League trophy in his arms. The 36-year-old seemed to be walking well as part of his recovery from an April cruciate ligament injury.

All the Swede had to do, according to ESPN, was to hand the trophy to the incumbent of the Swedish football federation chief who would hand it over to the winning captain.

It's a routine replicated in the Premier League with Richard Scudamore handing over the trophy, although sometimes accompanied by a guest.

Zlatan, however, fancied doing it all himself and beckoned captain Markus Rosenberg before passing it on. Check it out below:

You can see the brief bewilderment from Karl-Erik Nilsson as Ibrahimovic walks past but the smiles amongst the suit and tie-clad officials suggest they really weren't offended.

Rosenberg himself certainly wasn't fussed, explaining: "Of course it's special to receive the trophy from him. He's an icon for the club and Swedish football."

He certainly is and therefore, it's rather fitting that Ibrahimovic involved himself so closely with a title win that reiterates the golden spell Malmo are going through.

FBL-EUR-C3-AJAX-MAN UTD

Besides, he's probably glad he didn't opt for a Stamford Bridge visit...

Who would you start up front at Manchester United - Zlatan or Lukaku? Have your say in the comments section below.

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Topics:
Manchester United
Football
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain
AC Milan

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