Malta-licensed gaming operator Bethard has brought in legendary Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic to serve as brand ambassador. as it looks to establish itself as a leading brand in Europe.

Ibrahimovic will help to promote Bethard as it expands in Europe and will also be involved in the ongoing development of the company's offering.

He is one of world football's most recognisable players and the second most-decorated footballer currently playing today, having won 32 trophies to date in a career that has spanned Ajax, Juventus, Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.

He currently plays for LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer, having joined from Manchester United earlier this month.

Commenting on his decision to work with Bethard, Ibrahimovic said: "I have obviously been intensively courted by betting companies throughout my career, but up until now I have not been presented to anything that has triggered me.

"With Bethard, there was something different. It's a company with Swedish roots, the founders are from my home town [of Malmö] and they are true challengers who really wants to do things differently," he explained.

Founded in 2012, Bethard is currently licensed in Malta and the UK. It is embarking on an aggressive growth plan, actively seeking licences in a number of key European markets, with a view to participating in the majority of the continent's regulated territories by 2020.

"This move marks the starting signal for us," Bethard Group co-founder and chief executive Erik Skarp said. "We have taken a bold decision to start building a next generation sports betting brand and we are of course super excited to welcome Zlatan onboard. What better companion could we possibly have on this journey?"

"Through the agreement we will not only have an outstanding brand ambassador, but also a very engaged co-owner who I know will push us relentlessly forward."