Swedish Great Zlatan Ibrahimovic Retires from Professional Football
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Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan has retired from football at the age of 41, bringing an end to one of the modern era’s most illustrious careers.
“I say goodbye to football but not to you,” the Swede addressed the San Siro crowd following the season’s final game on Sunday.
Ibrahimovic has already stated his intention to leave the Italian club.
He scored 511 goals for clubs like as PSG, Manchester United, and both AC and Inter Milan, earning league titles in four different nations.
Ibrahimovic started his second stint with AC Milan in early 2020, after winning the Scudetto with them in 2011 and helping them win it again last season.
However, due to a series of ailments, he only played four times and started one match for the Serie A club this season, scoring one goal, and his contract was slated to expire this month.
“I’m dealing with too many emotions right now.” “Forza Milan and farewell,” an emotional Ibrahimovic remarked, wiping away tears.
“You gave me happiness the first time I came here, and love the second time.”
“You welcomed me with open arms, made me feel at home, and I will be a Milanista for the rest of my life.”
In his career, Ibrahimovic won 34 trophies, including 14 league titles, and was nominated for the Ballon d’Or 11 times.
The one major club prize he did not win was the Champions League, with his solitary European title coming with Manchester United in the 2017 Europa League.
The striker also leaves as Sweden’s all-time leading scorer, with 62 international goals in 122 games.
He left the national team after Euro 2016, but returned in 2021 for the team’s disappointing World Cup qualification campaign.
“I used to be afraid when journalists asked about my future, but now I can accept it, I’m ready,” he told reporters after his statement.
“I’ve been doing this my entire life. Football changed me into a man. It allowed me to meet folks I would not have met otherwise. Football has taken me all across the globe. It’s all because to football.”
A Career Laced with Gold
Ibrahimovic began his professional career with Malmo FF in 1999 before transferring to Ajax in 2001, where he won three league titles during a three-year stint.
In 2004, he moved to Italy to play for Juventus, where he won two league titles that were subsequently stripped from the club due to the Calciopoli scandal.
Before moving to Barcelona in 2009, the Swede won three more Serie A titles with his next club, Inter Milan.
Ibrahimovic spent only one season at the Catalan club, where he won the La Liga championship, before being loaned to AC Milan and making the transfer permanent in 2011.
A year later, Ibrahimovic was on the move once more, signing with Paris St.-Germain, where he scored 113 goals in 122 league appearances and won four Ligue 1 titles.
In his two-year tenure with the Premier League club, he won the League Cup and the Europa League. He joined Manchester United in July 2016 for a two-year contract.
In 2018, Ibrahimovic signed with MLS club LA Galaxy, spending two seasons in California before returning to AC Milan.