FBK Balkan director Sasa Vejzovic told Goal.com how a small Swedish club received a slice of Ibra's giant transfer fee to Barcelona...Zlatan Ibrahimovic's first club FBK Balkan have got an early Christmas present of 1.5m Kronor (€144,000) courtesy of FC Barcelona.
The small Swedish club from Rosengard in Malmo nurtured the future superstar for five years during his youth and under the FIFA solidarity system, the minnows were able to claim a cut of Ibra's colossal €66 million transfer from Inter to Barca in the summer.
However, FBK Balkan were forced to sweat it out before the cheque came through and had to produce proof that the striker played for the club.
Director Sasa Vejzovic told Goal.com that Barcelona needed to be convinced before writing the cheque.
"We sent old newspaper clippings and video clips where Zlatan talks about his time playing with FBK Balkan as our lawyer told us Barcelona wanted to see evidence.
"Our club records from the Swedish football association showed clearly that he played for our club. Zlatan has gone on the record many times saying he started with us.
"Last year Zlatan got Nike to donate our club a brand new kit for our A team. I know he's grateful that the club did a lot for him when he was young."
A key piece of the dossier presented to the Barcelona hierarchy was a team photo of the young Zlatan with his Balkan team-mates where bizarrely enough he was playing in goal.
The battle for a share of the 5% cut of Ibrahimovic's monster transfer fee was waged in the Swedish media as neighbouring club FC Rosengard claimed they were responsible for the Barcelona striker's development.
"It's a relief that we've been proved right. We always knew we were," added Vejzovic.
The Barcelona striker grew up in the largely immigrant neighbourhood of Rosengard in Malmo. He began his career with FBK Balkan and turned out occasionally for Malmo BI (now FC Rosengard) before joining Malmo FF in 1996.
Allsvenskan side Malmo FF will get a larger slice of the transfer fee claiming 60% of the 5% cut which works out at almost €2m for the Swedish glamour club.
Under the FIFA solidarity system any club who nurtures a player between the age of 12-23 is entitled to a share of future transfer deals. The 5% figure is divided proportionally depending on how long the player was associated with the club.
The money will be staggered in five separate payments over two years. FBK Balkan, who play in the fifth tier of the Swedish league, intend to use the cash for further grassroots development.
Sasa Vejzovic added, "We have big plans and will use the money to improve our youth academy. Our target is to have the best youth system in the south of Sweden and to stabilise ourselves in the next division.
"This money from Barcelona is our operating budget for the next five years."
Patrick Reilly, Goal.com
Zlatan - bottom row on the right