He might be ranked #14 in the world, but he's #1 in our hearts.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a professional soccer player from Sweden.
Ibrahimovic is the best soccer player Sweden has ever had. It's only fair to say that he's a bit of a living legend.
In the photo above, which Ibrahimovic shared just months ago on his Instagram account, he shows his fit body and a couple of tattoos on his right arm.
But when Ibrahimovic took his jersey off after scoring a goal on February 14, 2015, when Paris Saint-Germain played against Caen at Parc des Princes, his body looked totally different.
Let's start by saying that taking your jersey off during a football match is a big no-no. So when, after scoring a goal, Ibrahimovic ripped his shirt off, openly showing his tattooed body, judges were not impressed to say the least. They had no choice, but to give him a yellow penalty card for unsportsmanlike behavior.
You'd ask, doesn't a professional footballer know that he's not suppose to remove his jersey? Sure he does.
But Ibrahimovic had a statement to make. And no penalty card was going to stop him.
The tattoos he showed off, though temporary, have a deeper meaning.
The United Nations World Food Progaramme's Youtube page explains it in more detail:
"Underneath his sweater he had 50 new names tattooed. Names of people he’d never met, but still wanted to keep close. Names of some of the 805 million people suffering from hunger today. These people don’t often make the front page, yet hunger and malnutrition are the number one risk to health worldwide — greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined."
"Wherever I go people recognize me, call my name, cheer for me. But there are names no one cheers for,” the Swede says in the video, titled "805 Million Names."
"If I could, I'd write every single name on my body."
"But there are 805 million people suffering from hunger in the world today. Too many of them are children."
"I have supporters all over the world. Beginning today, I want this support to go to the people who really need it."
Ibrahimovic's temporary tattoos with names of real people suffering from hunger might have washed off, but the message he sent endures.
Watch the entire "805 Million Names" video featuring Ibrahimovic below.
You can read more about the World Food Programme and Ibrahimovic's fight against global hunger here.
Originally published by Danute Rasimaviciute for Aplus
Photo credit: Youtube