Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be one of the biggest soccer stars in the world, but he has no intent on being one of the biggest poker stars. The Swedish-born footballer, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain, reportedly said no to PokerStars in a sponsorship deal that would’ve paid him €3-4 million a year.
This report comes via Le Parisien, as they revealed the top 10 secrets about Ibrahimovic, with #4 being that he “may refuse gold contracts.” I don’t speak French, so I’ll let Google Translate explain what Le Parisien wrote on the matter:
With an annual salary slightly above €16 million gross, the Swede is the highest paid player in Ligue 1. With this compensation, it is allowed to refuse it a few weeks ago, a contract with the Poker-Stars society. This partnership, which had found him VIP Consulting agency Hocquemiller Frank, was to bring him 3 to €4 million. At the last moment Ibra declined the offer, without explanation.
While there’s been no official explanation on why Ibrahimovic denied the deal, this TwoPlusTwo thread throws out some possible explanations, including that “he doesn’t like poker,” “he can’t be bothered doing silly commercials,” and “his father is a Muslim and gambling is banned in that religion.”
Okay, so a lot of this is pure rumors and speculation, but there has to be some good reason why he wouldn’t take an easy fortune to do a few silly commercials for PokerStars – besides that he makes €16 million a year already.
In any case, there are lots of other fish in the sea if Stars decides to snag another footballer for Team SportStars – aside from the retired Ronaldo of course. The other Ronaldo, Neymar, Gareth Bale or Lionel Messi are other mega-stars who might be willing to listen to talks that include €4 million for pretending to like poker. In Neymar’s case, it’s not even pretending since he actually plays.