Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed out on this summer's World Cup, but thanks to a generous donation, he has ensured that Sweden's national team with intellectual disabilities will get to participate in its own World Cup in Brazil later this month.
Sweden's squad – known as The Unknown Team – qualified for the INAS World Cup but needed $51,000 to travel to the tournament. INAS is the International Federation for para-athletes with intellectual disabilities. The group tried raising money by auctioning off shirts and shoes from some prominent Swedish soccer players, but when Ibrahimovic learned of their plight, he reportedly said, “What the hell are you going to do with a [signed] shirt? How much is it to go?”
Ibrahimovic donated the full $51K, guaranteeing that at least one team from Sweden would get to participate in a World Cup.
“Football should be played by anyone, regardless of gender, disability or not,” he told Sweden's national team website. “When we missed the World Cup, I was deeply disappointed, but when I heard about “The Unknown Team,” I said to myself I wanted to do everything in my power to help them experience the World Cup. There was nothing to think about. It was a given,” he said.
“Now I get to experience the World Cup through them.”
(Wink of the CBS eye, Yahoo!)