Sweden adds verb ‘to Zlatan’ to official national dictionary
Whilst England’s press and football pundits haven’t always appreciated the wizardry of Zlatan Ibrahimovich, there is certainly no doubt that his countrymen are head-over-heels in love with him – so much so that they have added a new dictionary entry to honour him. As of next year, the verb ‘to Zlatan’ will be added to Sweden’s national dictionary.
And what may be the dictionary explanation? ‘Kung-fu kicking, pony-tailed colossus’ perhaps? Well not quite but along the same lines. The Swedish Language Council define the verb as ‘to dominate on and off the field’ – an all encompassing explanation that displays Ibrahimovich’s penchant for being as mad-as-a-box-of-snakes off the pitch as well as world class on it.
It’s hardly a consolation for Zlatan who was denied a place on the short list of this year’s Ballon d’or, but it does shine a light on the respect and love that the Swedes have for him – an affection that also saw his auto-biography nominated for a prestigious Swedish literary prize.
Off the paper and on the green stuff, he’s not too shabby either – belting in 18 goals this season for PSG, an account keeping him atop the Ligue 1 goal rankings.
That phenomenal introduction to French football aside, it was the impossible goal he netted against England above all that made 2012 a truly memorable year for the eccentric striker. A goal that sits neatly next to the definition of ‘spectacular’ – ‘beautiful in a dramatic and eye-catching manner.’