Zlatan Ibrahimovic donates £30,000 to send Swedish learning difficulties team to the World Cup
PSG striker was asked to donate a shirt but paid for the whole trip
Tuesday 12 August 2014
Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has donated £30,000 to help the Swedish learning difficulties national team compete in the INAS World Championships in Brazil.
According to Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, assistant coach Stefan Jonsson got in touch with Ibra asking him to donate a shirt for an auction as the side was struggling to raise money.
Jonsson is quoted as saying: “[Ibrahimovic] said ‘What the hell are you going with a jersey? What does it cost to go?’
"When we said that we needed 350,000 Swedish krone [£30,000], he asked for the account number and deposited it.”
Ibrahimovic then told Paralympic website handikappidrott.se that he wanted to do everything he could to help the team reach the tournament when he heard their story.
“Football should be played by anyone, regardless of gender, disability or not,” said the 32-year-old.
“When we [the Swedish national side] missed the World Cup, I was deeply disappointed. So when I heard about ‘the unknown team’ I said to myself that I wanted to do everything in my power to help them to experience a World Cup.
“There was nothing to think about. It was a given.”
It's not the first time a Swedish national team player has done something special for those with learning difficulties. An act of kindness when footballer Kim Kallstrom hugs a young mascot named Max
The genetic disorder makes sufferers particularly anxious and sensitive to noise and after going out on the pitch Max became distressed.
Kallstrom, who went on to join Arsenal in January, bent down to comfort the youngster, which prompted Max's father to write a letter of gratitude. Kallstrom also sponsors the Kim Kallstrom Trophy, a tournament for teams from around the world who have players with learning difficulties.
Latest in Sport
- 1 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 4 John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly