Zlatan Ibrahimovic donates £30,000 to send Swedish learning difficulties team to the World Cup - European - Football - The Independent

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

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 An act of kindness when footballer Kim Kallstrom hugs a young mascot named Max

Last October, Kim Kallstrom captured the hearts of people around the world when he comforted eight-year-old Max, who has Williams syndrome.

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.

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