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'Die, gypsy' – Ibrahimovic statue vandalised further as 'Judas' painted on Stockholm residence

11:29 WAT 28/11/2019
Zlatan Ibrahimovic LA Galaxy MLS 2019
Surströmming, a type of potent-smelling fermented fish, was also spread outside the property

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's statue in his native city of Malmo has been defaced further since the Swede announced he had bought a stake in rival club Hammarby, while the 38-year-old's residence in Stockholm was also targeted by vandals.

The striker had long been a source of pride for the Allsvenskan club, having began his career as a youth player there before advancing to the first team and going on to become arguably the best Swedish footballer in history.

That respect was dashed upon his recent announcement, however, with a recently erected statue of the enigmatic frontman subsequently being attacked with fireworks and having a toilet seat draped around its neck.

The vandalism aimed at Ibrahimovic has not stopped though, with 'Cigani die' ('die, gypsy') spray-painted at the foot of the statue - despite the striker not having Romani origins - while his house in Stockholm was emblazoned with 'Judas'. Fermented herring was also thrown at the front door.

Investigations have since been opened by Swedish authorities, with police spokesperson Jimmy Modin telling Sportbladet: “We are at the scene, there is a patrol and we are compiling a report. We will see what they come up with but no one has been arrested and there are no suspects.”

Lead investigator Bengt Dahnell added: "A preliminary investigation has been initiated. Someone has written on the property and spread fermented herring on it."

Ibrahimovic's decision to become a part-owner of Hammarby was lambasted by vice-chairman of MFF (Malmo's official supporters' group) on Wednesday. Kaveh Hosseinpour told Fotbolskanalen: “Everyone is extremely critical. Some are disappointed, some are angry and others think it's idiotic.”

Fellow Swede Pontus Jansson, a life-long Malmo fan who plies his trade with Brentford in the English Championship, added himself to the list of those who have felt let down by Ibrahimovic's new affiliation with a rival club.

Jansson told Sportbladet: “I woke up and saw the note about Hammarby and Zlatan and thought 'what the hell is this?'. It was a weird feeling. Zlatan shouldn't be at Hammarby. It's wrong. My Malmo heart is very disappointed.

“For me, Zlatan has been a role model since I was little. Now he has lost a great deal of my respect. It's tragic. Zlatan was one of Malmo's sons. His statement about wanting to make Hammarby the biggest club in Scandinavia stung my ears the most.

“I could understand if it was just business, like if he got the stake in the club as part of his salary from LA Galaxy (the company AEG is affiliated with both sides) but he's said all those other things and it's sh*t – especially when it's only been a month since the statue was revealed in Malmo.”