PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic could not hide his excitement when he faced the press in Malmö ahead of this evening's long awaited Champions League match against his home town club at a sold-out Swedbank Stadium. The 34-year-old from Rosengård scored 16 goals in 40 appearances for Malmö FF before leaving for Ajax in 2001 and embarking on a remarkable career that has included domestic titles in Holland, Italy, Spain and France. Now, fourteen years later, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has returned to Malmö with his club Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
"I shall just enjoy it," the striker said at Tuesday evening's pre-match press conference. Speaking of the city and club where it all began, he said." The love has always been there. I went to Europe at an early age. The connection to Malmö has always been there," he told media. Zlatan even explained that as soon as he found out about the game he called his former club and said "we need to book the twon square, everyone should have a chance to see this match". And book the town square with a giant screen they did.
Malmö city itself created an epic "welcome back" for Zlatan, with a blue 'Z' lighting up the iconic Turning Torso tower on Tuesday evening. Later in the night, however, it was replaced with the symbol for MFF, to show where the city's true allegiance lies - the club not the player. It will also be up tonight to really ignite the local supporters in Malmö.
The French champions won 2-0 in the first fixture in Paris, and Malmö FF hope that the home crowd make a difference on Wednesday. The light show was made possible with the help of MFF:s main sponsor E.ON – an energy company that develops renewable energy sources for the future. "The whole thing is a fantastic testament to a successful sponsor activity and a fun way to work with our sponsors." said Martin Östling, spokesperson at Malmö FF.
Ad agency: M&C Saatchi