Then LA Galaxy footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic speaks during his first press conference for the club in Los Angeles, California, on March 30, 2018. (MARK RALSTON / AFP)
STOCKHOLM - Sweden's top club Hammarby said Wednesday Swedish football great Zlatan Ibrahimovic now owns part of the side after he bought half the stakes in entertainment conglomerate AEG Sweden.
Club president Richard von Yxkull says that "the timing feels good. We have had a strong development in recent years and next year we play in Europe."
I am going to help Hammarby to become the best (club) in Scandinavia
Von Yxkull said Wednesday that the deal with Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns Major League Soccer's LA Galaxy where Ibrahimovic earlier played, was made in Los Angeles.
The Swedish superstar said Wednesday that he was "impressed with what the club has achieved in recent years."
This season, Hammarby ended third in Sweden's top tier behind Djurgarden and Ibrahimovic's old club Malmo.
Ibrahimovic told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet that at Galaxy he "got a good relationship with the people from AEG. Then I got this opportunity to become a partner with AEG and such an opportunity is impossible to refuse."
The deal means that Ibrahimovic will hold about 25 percent of Hammarby.
In this March 31, 2018 file photo Los Angeles Galaxy's Zlatan Ibrahimovic, of Sweden, acknowledges fans as he walks off the field after an MLS soccer match against the Los Angeles FC in Carson, Calif. (JAE C. HONG, FILE / AP PHOTO)
No financial details were disclosed.
The former Sweden international had in recent days posted a photo of the club green-and-white jersey online, sparking rumors in his native Sweden that he may join the club.
"I am going to help Hammarby to become the best (club) in Scandinavia," he told Aftonbladet.
The 38-year-old Ibrahimovic has previously played for several of Europe's top clubs including Inter Milan, Barcelona and Manchester United.
Earlier this month, Ibrahimovic left the LA Galaxy after two eventful seasons. The Swede scored 56 goals in 52 MLS games after joining the Galaxy in March 2018, injecting a blend of talent and swagger into a stagnating club. This season, he scored a franchise-record 30 goals — more than the rest of the Galaxy roster combined (28).
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