Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of world soccer’s most successful and dynamic players of recent times, known for his big personality and spectacular goal scoring. After winning 13 league titles in four countries for some of the most high-profile teams on the planet, the six-foot-five striker joined the LA Galaxy for two seasons, from March of 2018 to November of 2019.
From the moment he scored that brilliant goal minutes into his Galaxy debut, Ibrahimovic made an indelible impression on Major League Soccer fans, and remains beloved in his homeland, Sweden, where he was named that country’s second greatest athlete of all time in 2014. The famously outspoken Malmö native has more than five million followers on Twitter and nearly 40 million on Instagram.
Here he answers some questions about what he loves most about living in Southern California.
Where do you live? Beverly Hills.
Why there? I choose to live there because I am familiar with the place and the area and I like it. It is less stressful, it is beautiful, I have everything I need. It is a good area.
Who or what is your greatest California love? The weather, of course. We are not complaining about the weather, never. It is not just that the weather is good, but it gives you the opportunity to do whatever you want with the day. That is a kind of freedom. California is also easygoing, there is no stress.
What is the biggest misperception about Californians? People overseas maybe think everything is like television. But the people are great. Sometimes I take myself to Venice Beach, where I feel more normal. It is a different kind of mix.
What is the stereotype that holds most true? That everybody has an opportunity to become what they want. Here everybody has a chance. You just have to work hard, believe in what you do, believe in yourself and of course have the right people around you. With the right mentality you can reach far. There is opportunity here, you just have to go out and grab it.
What is your favorite Golden State splurge? I like to focus on my family. I have two beautiful boys and I want to raise them to have good experiences and understand how to be strong, good people. I see many characters who put themselves before their family. That’s not me.
Time for a road trip, where you are going? Not one place. I love to move around. I explore, but wherever I go, I am myself. I want to see new things. When you move to a new city and a new country, everything is new so it adds something to your life. There are special places and special people here.
If you could decree an official state culinary experience, what would it be? I have my wife at home who cooks very well so I am a little bit spoiled. But I promised her that when we moved to California we would go out to eat more. I love international meals and California has everything. Close to where we live there is a lot of choices so we are lucky.
How do you define California style? I find the rhythm very smooth. The day is going and you are not even looking at your watch to see what the time is, so the day just goes by itself and you just flow with it.
Best California song? I am not sure. I listen to what I am feeling to see what fits my mood.
How would your California dream day unfold? I relax, I see my family happy. I see my dog happy, the sun is shining, no clouds in the sky. I am sitting by the pool drinking my coffee, eating my dessert—because I am dependent on sugar because I need adrenaline. That’s the day, it goes, just flow with it. Carpe diem, take the day like it comes.