WATCH | 'You are not Zlatan,' says Ibrahimovic in pro-mask video

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Getty Images)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Getty Images)

Football superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic has leant his weight to a campaign promoting respect for distancing rules and wearing a mask, telling fans not to "challenge the virus" in a video released Thursday by the Lombardy region.

The former Sweden striker, who plays for AC Milan, tested positive for Covid-19 a few weeks ago but has now recovered and is back playing in Serie A where he is the top goalscorer.

"The virus challenged me and I defeated it," he says in Italian.

"But you are not Zlatan. Do not challenge the virus. Use your head, respect the rules. Social distancing and masks, always. We will win."

The video, filmed on a terrace overlooking Milan, closes with Ibrahimovic donning a mask.

Lombardy president Attilio Fontana said he had the idea to enlist Ibrahimovic on the night of the derby between the two Milan clubs when the 39-year-old scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Inter.

Like its European neighbours, Italy, one of the countries most affected by the pandemic, has suffered a sharp increase in cases in recent weeks.

The country has recorded nearly 38,000 deaths with more than 550,000 cases since the end of February.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
42% - 10106 votes
11% - 2714 votes
19% - 4576 votes
2% - 600 votes
1% - 230 votes
2% - 557 votes
5% - 1191 votes
8% - 2011 votes
3% - 815 votes
Water sports
1% - 215 votes
American sports
1% - 299 votes
3% - 780 votes