Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 'Who the f*** is David Beckham?'... ghostwriter admits PSG star's autobiography does not contain real quotes

Ibra's ghostwriter David Lagercrantz admits he wrote I Am Zlatan as a novel

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The Independent Football

Well that's a shame. One of the best sporting memoirs ever put on paper is not 100 per cent truthful.

In fact, David Lagercrantz, the ghostwriter of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's book I am Zlatan has revealed that he wrote the book "as a novel" and that he doesn't have "any real quotes" from the Paris Saint-Germain star.

The book has become a smash hit for the forthcoming and often bizarre third-person, egocentric sound bites from the Swedish star.

But, speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Lagercrantz admits he found a "literary illusion" of the striker, with whom he spent around 100 hours, and wrote the book that way.

"I started to read ghostwritten football books and I must say I’ve never read such boring books in my whole life, " he said. "I said to myself, ‘I can’t do it.’ Then – I shouldn’t really admit it – I decided to write it as a novel. I didn’t really quote him. I started to find this literary illusion of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and then I got into writing it.

"I worked with him very thoroughly. I just asked him about things I didn’t know. Because all the goals I could see for myself, so I didn’t waste time on goals.

"I sat with him for 100 hours and that was quite an adventure. I didn’t lie. I didn’t want to make him better or nicer than he was. I said to him from the beginning, ‘You can’t be moral. Just speak out, for God’s sake.’

"I told him I had just read David Beckham’s book and that was such a boring book, actually. And he had a good answer: ‘Who the f--- is Beckham?’

"I think it really was his true voice. The key thing is that I was not working as a journalist. I was not quoting him. I know this – if you want to find something that sounds true and authentic, the last thing you want to do is quote. I don’t think I have any real quotes from him. I tried to get an illusion of him, to try and find the story. I tried to find the literary Ibrahimovic."

The writer said that Ibrahimovic was at first skeptical of the way he had written the book - but eventually came to accept that version of events.

"The first thing he said was: 'What the f--- is this? I never said this!’ But after a while I think he understood what I was trying to do.

"Nowadays he thinks it’s really his story."

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