Swedish soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic is parting ways with LA Galaxy. Galaxy finished the 2019 season in 8th place overall and made it to the Conference semifinals in the playoffs. Ibrahimovic scored 31 goals and was an MVP finalist this season.
In a very short time, he managed to cement himself in MLS history by becoming one of only three players in history to record 20+ goals and 10+ assists in a single season. Zlatan managed to do this during his debut season, in 2018, when he scored 22 goals and made 10 assists.
Zlatan The Investor
It wouldn’t come as a surprise for anyone if Zlatan called it quits. He is 38 years old and has played at the highest level for 20 years. Breaking records, securing league titles and accolades from playing in leagues such a Serie A, La Liga and Premier League.
Zlatan trademarked his own name back in 2003 and has always been active outside of the soccer pitch with different business endeavours. He picked up the pace in the last three years and has started to establish himself as an investor and businessman. His investing activity could be seen as a means to an end in giving him something to do after he retires from soccer. As of now, Zlatan is yet to finalize a contract with a new soccer club. Below are some of Zlatan’s recent investments.
Ibrahimovic was approached by online betting company Bethard in 2018. There are many different online casino operators in the USA around the world and quite a few of them have courted Zlatan throughout his career. He has never been able to act due to contractual obligations with his football clubs. When Bethard approached him the idea was for Zlatan to become a brand ambassador. He ended up becoming a co-owner in the company while starring in a series of commercials and advertising campaigns.
His ties with Bethard was immediately investigated by FA, the English Football Association, due to him being under contract with the Premier League club Manchester United. No disciplinary action was taken by the FA because Zlatan was set to move to the United States and play for LA Galaxy.
Swedish Football Club
Recently he made waves in the media when he released a short video clip where his name was unveiled on the back of a Hammarby IF jersey. Hammarby is a Stockholm based elite soccer team. Everyone was shocked. Could the highest-paid player in the MLS play in Swedish Allsvenskan next season?
The next day it was revealed that Zlatan had taken up ownership by purchasing 25% of the clubs’ shares. Zlatan said that Hammarby has the potential to become the greatest club in Scandinavia. They were one point short of the league title last season but secured international play by finishing second in Allsvenskan. Hammarby matches are usually sold out as the club has an extremely loyal fan base and is often spoken of as “the club of the people”.
The soccer superstar has also invested in esports start-up Challengermode. The company was started in 2014 and is an online platform where casual gamers are able to compete like professionals and win prizes and products from sponsors. Challengermode has quickly established itself as a leading actor in the Scandinavian esports market. They have major partnerships with Twitch, the biggest gaming streaming platform and Nordea, one of the largest online financial platforms in Northern Europe.
Esports is poised for growth globally and Zlatan seized the opportunity when the esports tech start-up was raising a round of funding. Their plan is to scale up outside of Scandinavia and target Northern Europe, develop more product features and continue to position themselves on the esports market. The size of Zlatan’s investment with Challengermode is unknown.