As a professional footballer, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has achieved great things. He appeared as a striker in over 800 games, played in various leagues and scored around 500 goals. He took part in several European and World Championships with the Swedish national team. In July of this year he ended his career at the age of 41. The athlete primarily celebrated success professionally – but privately he suffered a painful defeat.

In an interview with British presenter Piers Morgan, Ibrahimovic revealed that his long-term partner Helena Seger has rejected his marriage proposal. “I did it. She said no,” Ibrahimovic replied when asked if he had ever asked for Seger’s hand in marriage. “That was a few years ago. I said, after 20 years, you deserve to be married to me. She said, ‘I don’t have to be married to you to be with you.’ She is strong, she is very strong,” said the 42-year-old.

In retrospect, he found his girlfriend’s surprising reaction “cool,” said Ibrahimovic. “Because if you do that, you get more respect from me because I don’t always have to win.” He doesn’t want to make another application to the 53-year-old. “She had a chance, she won’t get a second chance. But she has two boys from me, that’s even more important than being married,” Ibrahimovic said.

The athlete and the ex-model have been in a relationship since 2001 and have two sons aged 17 and 15. In an interview with the Swedish “Elle”, Seger ruled out going to the altar in 2021. “A wedding could disrupt my sense of independence. I don’t want to be labeled as just a player’s wife or a miss in a beauty pageant. I don’t think people realize how much I’ve studied, worked and fought,” said the Swede, who has a business degree. She was studying and had her own career when she met Ibrahimovic over 20 years ago.

About the first encounter in a parking lot in Malmö, she revealed: “Love at first sight? No. He parked his Ferrari badly so that it blocked my Mercedes and I couldn’t get out of the parking space. I pretty much yelled at him and told him to leave immediately and as you can see, he liked it. I think Zlatan likes me because I stand up to him.” Just like with the spurned marriage proposal.