A statue of Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been vandalized and the word “Judas” sprayed on a property he owns in Stockholm after the star, who started his career with hometown club Malmo, invested in a rival soccer club.
According to police, the incidents took place on Wednesday following the announcement that Ibrahimovic had acquired a stake in Stockholm-based Hammarby.
In Malmo, a statue of the player was vandalized with a racist messaged sprayed onto the ground.
Malmo police told CNN that it had opened up a case to investigate the vandalism of the statue outside the local football stadium.
The force also confirmed it had opened a separate case over unlawful threats made against Ibrahimovic.
No suspects have been arrested or charged, police said.
Ibrahimovic, who is Sweden’s leading international goalscorer with 62 goals in 116 games, has played for some of Europe’s biggest clubs including Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United.
He has spent the past two seasons playing in the US with LA Galaxy.
“Hammarby is a fantastic club with passionate supporters and is well respected in both Stockholm and Sweden,” Ibrahimovic told Hammarby’s website.
“I have always liked the club and its fans, and I’m also impressed with the club’s achievements over the last years, both on and off the pitch. To be part of and to assist Hammarby in its progress feels both fun and exciting.”
The 38-year-old, who is a free agent after leaving LA Galaxy earlier this month, also published a post on Instagram with his surname on the back of a Hammarby shirt, though he has made clear he has no intention of playing for the club.
“I’ve said for 10 years that I’m not going to play football in the Allsvenskan. It’s not going to happen,” he told Aftonbladet.