Zlatan Ibrahimovic has won plenty of games for Manchester United on the pitch this season, but he had a personal win off it this week.
The 35-year-old striker, United’s top goalscorer thus far this season, won a libel case against former Swedish national track and field team manager Ulf Karlsson, who was found guilty of aggravated libel against the Manchester United striker for suggesting he used performance-enhancing substances.
The Swedish district court in Karlstad ordered Karlsson to pay a fine of £2,175 for comments, at an April 2016 panel discussion, about what he called a sudden weight gain by the 35-year-old, who is Sweden’s top goalscorer.
During a public debate on doping in April, Ulf Karlsson hinted at drug use when he said the striker had, “put on 10 kilos (22 pounds) of muscle mass … in one year.”
Karlsson had pleaded innocent, but the Karlstad court found in favour of Ibrahimovic, ruling that the remarks had been damaging to the player’s reputation.
In its verdict the court wrote: “The court’s opinion is that in the context of what was said Ulf Karlsson gave the impression that Zlatan Ibrahimovic was doping during his time at Juventus.
“Even if his remarks do not contain a direct accusation that Zlatan had taken steroids, the court finds that these remarks, given the context in which they were made, can not be taken any other way than to give the impression that Zlatan would have taken steroids during his time at Juventus.”
Ibrahimovic played for Juventus from 2004 to 2006, after starting his career at Ajax, before moving onto Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and then Manchester United.