Zlatan Ibrahimovic is in Brazil! The enigmatic Swedish striker has made an appearance at the 2014 FIFA World Cup during the Group B match between defending champions Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Sweden were eliminated in the World Cup qualifying rounds late last year by Portugal, a match that would see one of two superstars out of the finals. It was between Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. When the dust settled, it was Portugal through and Sweden out.
The official FIFA World Cup account tweeted this photo of Ibrahimovic in the stands with his son
Why is this a big deal? Back in November, when Sweden were taken out, Zlatan made some controversial comments stating that a World Cup without him is not worth watching at all. Because of this, Brazilian players, celebrities and regular people started a campaign to invite Zlatan to come to Brazil. They called it "VEMIBRA" of "Come Ibra" in Portuguese. A viral video was made to popularize the campaign with appearances by Brazilian football legend Ronaldo and MMA fighter Anderson Silva. Many other players and celebrities appeared in the video all basically inviting Zlatan to show up in Brazil and make the World Cup worth watching with his presence there.
Ibrahimovic had been in the United States to promote the launch of his book, "I Am Zlatan," in the weeks leading up to the World Cup and now, he has finally made an appearance and it it seems the campaign has worked! The video also called for other fans to use the hashtag #VEMIBRA and to tag Zlatan's social media accounts. The French supporters even hung a large banner saying: "ZLATAN: We miss you" during their team's opening match.against Honduras. Ibrahimovic plays his club football with French side Paris Saint-Germain. Soon after the video came out and he was bombarded with invitations to come, Ibrahimovic tweeted a teasing photo of himself hinting that he might change his plans for the summer and might actually come to Brazil.
Now, it's official. Zlatan has made an appearance and the games in Brazil are all that much more attractive as evidenced by the overwhelming response to his presence there. The original post has been retweeted or favorited over 5,000 times in less that three hours and news is quickly spreading.
View the VEMIBRA Video: