ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC showed he has lost none of his modesty – even if a huge new statue of himself almost has!
The Swedish legend told thousands of fans at the unveiling of the near-naked effigy in Malmo: "When you come to New York you have the Statue of Liberty, when you come to Sweden you have the Statue of Zlatan."
5 Zlatan Ibrahimovic was for once overshadowed – albeit by a statue himself – as the 8.9-foot tribute was revealed in MalmoCredit: AP:Associated Press
5 Zlatan Ibrahimovic takes selfies with fans gathering to see the statue unveiled
5 The bizarre bronze bust of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's rival Cristiano Ronaldo, right, was eventually replaced by a less scary versionCredit: AFP or licensors
5 The Zlatan Ibrahimovic statue looks chest the best – unlike poor Cristiano Ronaldo, whose bust was cussed
And after a much-mocked statue of rival superstar Cristiano Ronaldo at Madeira airport in Portugal was eventually replaced, designers went for bust this time.
Ibrahimovic's bronze, topless statue towered over the suited-and-booted former Manchester United striker in his home town as he spread his arms out wide in a famous goal salute replicated by the monument.
Ibra's national FA commissioned the 8.9-foot sculpture from Swedish artist Pete Linde to honour the country's greatest ever player.
Ibrahimovic, 38, is now with LA Galaxy after netting 62 times in 116 internationals.
And there were also eye-catching spells with Malmo, Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan and PSG.
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Just two months ago, Ibrahimovic told United he would be happy to return as he "could still play easily in the Premier League".
He said then: “I could still play easily in the Premier League. If United needs me, I’m here!
“But Galaxy has me so I’m sorry.
“I did my job in Europe. I enjoyed it, I have 33 trophies that I brought with me here and hopefully I can get something here.
“And then we will see where that adventure finishes.”
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But for now he is back where it started – having made his Malmo debut in 1999.
And seven years ago the same city added him to their Walk of Fame of Sports at the Stadium Square.
So although there is only one Statue of Liberty, there are two tributes to Ibrahimovic!
5 Swedish fans flock patiently to see if Zlatan Ibrahimovic is worth his wait in bronze