Zlatan Ibrahimovic has complained that he is a victim of “latent racism” in his native Sweden.
Ibrahimovic is the most accomplished player in the country’s history, having won 30 trophies throughout his career.
He is also the country’s top goalscorer, and ranks sixth in terms of appearances.
But the 36-year-old, son of a Muslim Bosniak father and a Croatian Catholic mother, believes his achievements are often overlooked because he is not blonde or called “Svensson or Andersson”.
“They still attack me today because they do not accept me being Ibrahimovic,” he told Canal+.
“If another player made the same mistakes as me, they would defend him. When it’s me, they do not defend me. But it’s okay, it’s what made me stronger.
“I’m talking about racism. I’m not saying it’s asserted racism, but latent racism. That’s it, I’m sure. If my name was Svensson or Andersson, or if I was blonde, they would defend me even if I robbed a bank.
“I’m probably the best Swedish player in history. What I did, no-one had done before.
“The record of number of times anyone had won the Swedish Player of the Year was two. And how many did I win? Eleven. It never happened before. I’ve done for Swedish football what nobody has. I’m the best.”