The Meaning of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Shirt

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a Swedish professional footballer who plays as a striker for the French club Paris Saint-Germain and the Sweden national team. He was born in Malmö, Sweden, to a Bosnian father and Croatian mother. His career has been widely publicised and he is well known in the world of football for his extravagant personality, tattoos, and controversial behavior on and off the pitch. 

A characteristic trait of Ibrahimović’s game is his ability to score from distance with powerful strikes. Although this often provides more entertainment than regular goal-scoring opportunities being presented, some players have criticized him for showboating too much by shooting outside

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is widely considered to be one of the greatest strikers in history. Ibrahimović is a well-known and accomplished professional footballer who has won 31 trophies during his career. He has scored over 570 goals throughout his career, including more than 500 for his club, and he’s scored in each of the last four decades.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is widely considered to be one of the greatest strikers in history.

Moreover, Ibrahimović is on the list of eleven Swedish players to have played 100 and/or more times for their national team in their football player career for 20 years and more. In fact, Ibrahimović is also Sweden’s all-time leading scorer with a total of 62 goals. He also took part in the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cup teams, as well as the 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 European Championship squads.

Ibrahimovic won the Guldbollen (the Golden Ball), the Swedish player of the year award, a record 12 times, including 10 consecutive times from 2007 to 2016. Ibrahimovi on Sweden’s 35-yard bicycle kick against England in 2013 was named FIFA’s Puskás Award winner and is frequently regarded as one of the finest goals of all time.

But more than that, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has taken part in various charity and advocacy groups, like mask use under the time of the pandemic, among many other political and non-political advocacies. But, Ibrahimovic is perhaps most well known for his philanthropic work in the world of soccer. 

For example, Ibrahimovic has done a lot of charity and social work in Sweden where he came from. Even though we can’t list all his various contributions to society here, it’s important to note that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one athlete who does not just use his influence for fame or money, but rather to ‘raise up’ those who are less fortunate than him. He doesn’t just talk about it either, when there was a need in Italy and Zlatan happened to be around he jumped in and helped with whatever was needed.

The Shirt

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has a lot to say about the meaning of his shirt. He claims that he is not a role model and the only things people should learn from him are what not to do. However, his choice of clothing can be interpreted as an indirect reference to social issues such as racism and discrimination.

Many have explored the possibility of Ibrahimovic’s shirt being intended as a subtle statement about race relations and society, and describe some of its implications as well as some criticisms against it. It will also present why this topic has been regarded as controversial, along with some personal views on Zlatan’s choice of outfit. The meaning of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s shirt has been an ongoing gossip among soccer enthusiasts and common fans. The myth behind the design is often debated upon, and while some claim it to be a clear reference to society-related issues while others deny any intentions.

What does it really mean?

At first glance, it might be difficult to see where the controversy lies. Zlatan is a soccer player and like any other athlete, he chooses his clothing carefully before taking the field and giving 100% of what he’s got. On the other hand, we’ve seen many athletes using their clothing as an artistic expression or as a reference to something – anything – that has made them who they are today. In Ibrahimovic’s case, his choice of outfit doesn’t leave much to the imagination: he dons a plain black shirt during every match with nothing but three numbers printed on its front side: No 23.

So, what do the numbers actually stand for? In an interview with FFT, Ibrahimovic was asked about his choice of attire. He explained that those who question him about the meaning behind those three numbers are those who will never understand its true meaning.

In this case, it is important to note that Zlatan has a history of racism which he claims led him to choose a number as a statement against discrimination and inequality. However, many people don’t buy into this explanation and look towards Ibrahimovic’s controversial record.


This is where the discourse begins because aside from being very secretive about it, Ibrahimovic has nothing but good things to say about his choice of outfit. The ‘three-two-three’ number can be interpreted in many ways and to reduce it to a mere number would leave much to interpretation, which Zlatan adamantly refuses to do. His choice of words often leaves us wondering after every post-match interview: he claims that he just likes the number and that we should focus on something else rather than analyzing what the numbers mean behind his fashion statement.