The author Alexandra Pascalidou has both written and debated multicultural Sweden since the 90s.
She believes that one of the reasons he has been given such a central role in the story of Sweden is that he has challenged the Swedish self-image.
"He means everything – not just to me, but to many of us. He has been the one who has shown society and the world that even if you come from the poorest concrete, you can achieve and realize your dreams, says Alexandra Pascalidou to Kulturnyheterna.
"Has embodied the struggle"
She believes that Zlatan Ibrahimovic's success story has had a big impact. Not only when it comes to going from the gravel pitch in Rosengård to the big football stadiums – but that he has also been a symbol of integration and all the obstacles to it.
"Zlatan has embodied that fight. That regardless of whether you are the best in the world, there are still people who refuse to see you as Swedish, who refuse to accept you as a full citizen.
As a person who has made a class trip herself, she can relate to Zlatan's experiences.
"He is a symbol for all of us concrete children with different backgrounds and for all of us without prerequisites.
Listen to Alexandra Pascalidou talk more about Zlatan's importance in the clip above.