The great Zlatan Ibrahimović is back in the news for activities off the field. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because where there is Zlatan, there is entertainment.
When we last left Zlatan, the Paris Saint-Germain and Sweden international forward was reportedly filling out visa paperwork at the United States Embassy in Paris, which would enable him to stay in the U.S. permanently. Speculation began immediately about Lord Zlatan’s inevitable move to Major League Soccer.
But in my gut, I always suspected there was more to the story. Players of Zlatan’s stature don’t go to embassies to fill out paperwork to stay in a country indefinitely, just to play for a few years in an up-and-coming soccer league. The are regular civilians to facilitate all of that boredom. That story didn’t completely add up.
But now we have more information.
That’s right. Your eyes are not deceiving you. Welcome to Zlaaatan.com, a new search engine powered by Zlatan. Probably manually. Or by Google. Actually, it’s Google.
The search engine was actually conceived by Andreas Killander, Creative Director of Swedish advertising agency SweetPop. Killander described the project to L’Equipe:
“Our search engine is linked to Google but all searches are Zlatan-related.”
So now you have a sense of how the backend works. He continued:
“If you type Ferrari, you find information on the Ferrari Zlatan. If you are looking for a recipe, you have the Zlatan Burger. Zlatan is an idol. He is known to the world, which is why we chose him.
Now you know “Zlatan search” works. But the burning question: How is this connected to Zlatan? The answer is a sad one.
“We did not ask him for his permission, but we hope that he will see it as a fun experience.”
Sigh. Zlatan’s not involved. Yes, that’s sad, but the search engine still works. You should try it by using your fingers to enter letters into the box.
But let’s get back to my theorizing. My initial theory, that Zlatan was pursuing a U.S. visa for business reasons, was supposed to be bolstered by breaking news that Zlatan will be moving to Silicon Valley to compete in the search engine space. Zlatan would spend the next couple of years, with a neat Silicon Valley title like “Chief Search Inspiration Director Person,” giving catch-word-heavy interviews to Fast Company about venture capital and rounds of funding. He would go onShark Tank and turn down all the deals. He’d slap Mr. Wonderful. (I really want to see Zlatan on Shark Tank). But it turns out, that’s not to be.
The sad news: Zlatan’s reported move for permanent residence in the U.S. has nothing to do with Zlaaatan.com.
But there’s good news. Zlatan’s lack of association with Zlaaatan.com doesn’t preclude the Swedish giant from bursting onto the Silicon Valley tech scene. That’s still definitely a possibility. But for the time being, we’ll just all have to be patient and wait for Zlatan to reveal his next move. Good thing we can still watch him play soccer.