At the age of 41, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has declared his retirement from football.
After his team’s final Serie A match of the season, the AC Milan striker announced on the San Siro field that he had decided to retire from football.
“I have many memories and many emotions in here,” the Swede said.
“The first time I arrived here, you gave me happiness. The second time, love. I will be a Milan fan for life.
“The time has come to say goodbye to football, but not to you. See you around, if you’re lucky. Forza Milan and goodbye.”
As he was serenaded by the Milan supporters and given a guard of honor by his colleagues as he exited the field, Ibrahimovic appeared upset.
The former Manchester United striker played just four times for Milan, scoring once in a 3-1 loss at Udinese in March, and his exit from the team had already been confirmed. The striker has missed most of the season owing to an injury.
He extended his contract for a further year in July of last year despite the likelihood of a drawn-out recovery from knee surgery.
He had undergone a planned treatment on his left knee to correct damage and instability brought on by a prior anterior cruciate ligament injury, shortly after aiding Milan win the Serie A championship.
Ibrahimovic had a protracted layoff as a result, and his first season-opening appearance didn’t happen until the end of February.
A stylish striker
Ibrahimovic is well-known for his long-range overhead kick against England in 2012, which was his fourth goal in a game that Sweden won 4-2.
After turning down the advances of Arsene Wenger, the manager of Arsenal, he started his career with Malmo and afterwards joined Ajax.
When I was 17, Arsene Wenger asked me to take an Arsenal trial. I declined it. Zlatan doesn’t go to auditions,” he said in his own distinctive manner.
Before his unfortunate stint at Barcelona, where he griped about Pep Guardiola’s use of him, the striker previously had stints with Juventus and Inter Milan.
“When you buy me, you are buying a Ferrari,” Ibrahimovic said.
“If you drive a Ferrari, you put premium fuel in the tank, you drive on to the motorway and you floor the accelerator.
“Guardiola filled up with diesel and went for a spin in the countryside. If that’s what he wanted, he should have bought himself a Fiat from the start.”
The top scorer ever for Sweden
In 2010, Ibrahimovic made his debut with AC Milan, originally on loan. He afterwards transferred to Paris St. Germain, where he scored 113 goals in 122 league games.
With Manchester United, he also won the Europa League and the League Cup. Before going back to the San Siro, he had a successful stint at LA Galaxy.
With 62 goals in 122 games, Ibrahimovic holds the record for most goals scored in Sweden.
After Euro 2016, he left the national team, but he later joined them again in 2021 for their disastrous World Cup qualification run.