Den unge Zlatan

Sweden, The Netherlands, Italy


The decisive years of Swedish soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimović, told through rare archive footage in which a young Zlatan speaks openly about his life and challenges. The film closely follows him, from his debut with the Malmö FF team in 1999 through his conflict-ridden years with Ajax Amsterdam, and up to his final breakthrough with Juventus in 2005. BECOMING ZLATAN is a coming-of-age film that captures the complicated journey of this young, talented and troubled player as he becomes a superstar in the international football world.

It’s a story about a young talent living under constant pressure: from team mates in Malmö who think he’s too egoistical and only plays for himself; from the tough managers at Ajax who send him to the bench, where he loses his self-confidence; and from his father, who tells the 18-year-old Zlatan: “You’re nothing. You’re nothing special until you’ve succeeded internationally.

Throughout his journey, Zlatan stays true to himself. When he finally succeeds in Italy, he also becomes much more private. Soccer superstar Zlatan Ibrahimović is an enigma, but in this story from his breakthrough years, he gives us a glimpse at who he really is – if even just for a moment.

Director's Biography

Fredrik Gertten is an award-winning Swedish director and journalist.
His latest works Bikes vs Cars (2015), BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!* (2012) and BANANAS!* (2009) have met audiences in over 80 countries including leading festivals such as Sundance, Berlinale, Hot Docs, Toronto,IDFA, Melbourne IFF, Sao Paulo IFF and Sheffield
In 1994, Fredrik founded the production company WG Film. He previously worked as a foreign correspondent and columnist for radio, TV and press in Africa, Latin America, Asia and around Europe. Today he combines filmmaking with a role as a creative producer at WG Film - famous for local stories with a global understanding, with several films catching the identity and transformation of his hometown.

Magnus Gertten, director and producer, previously TV- and radio journalist, has directed a number of award-winning documentaries including ROLLING LIKE A STONE, A THOUSAND PIECES, HARBOUR OF HOPE, LONG DISTANCE LOVE, and the True Blue films.
He is the producer behind the DVD series FROM MALMÖ WITH LOVE; a DVD series based on archive footage depicting the city of Malmö through the ages from a historic point of view. Magnus started the production company Auto Images together with Stefan Berg in 1998.
Magnus' latest achievement is the multi-award winning EVERY FACE HAS A NAME which has screened at festivals and in cinemas world-wide and also received a Guldbagge award nomination. "

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Jesper Osmund, Fredrik Gertten, Magnus Gertten

Written by: Fredrik Gertten, Magnus Gertten, Magnus Gertten

Produced by: Margarete Jangård, Lennart Ström

Cinematography: Stefan Berg, Goert Giltay, Caroline Troedsson, Jon Rudberg, Michele Fornasero

Original Score: Florencia Di Concilio, Marc Lizier

Sound Design: Davide Favargiotti

Animation: Charlotte Rodenstedt

Cast: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Nominations and Awards

  • Documentary Selection 2016