La France et Le Zlatan: is the love affair over?
A new poll in Le Parisien finds that 84% of respondents view Zlatan Ibrahimović as arrogant. And if Parisians, of all people. think you’re arrogant, you might just have an image problem.
In what appears to be an annual “What do you think of Zlatan?” survey, his popularity has plummeted from 62% a year ago to 21% now.
Even Inspector Clouseau could figure out the explanation for the sinking poll numbers. That’s what happens when you publicly call France a “shit country” whose denizens “don’t even deserve PSG” – people tend to get offended. Even if you later apologize. Sort of.
The outburst came straight after a loss and Zlatan was clearly just having a rant about the referee, rather than making any overt criticisms of baguettes, the Eiffel Tower, burgundy wine, pungent cheeses or the new direction French fashion houses are taking.
The worst thing about this furore is that it handed an open goal to France’s alarmingly popular Marine Le Pen, leader of the racist Front National, who suggested he should leave France if he’s not too fond of the country. And for someone like Zlatan, who grew up in Sweden as a child of immigrants, giving her ammunition has got to hurt more than any disciplinary sanction he may face from the French soccer authorities.