AC Milan’s legendary striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, has officially announced his retirement from football at the age of 41, bringing an end to an illustrious and dazzling career that will forever be remembered in the modern era.
As he bid farewell to the San Siro crowd after the final game of the season on Sunday, the charismatic Swede expressed:
“I say goodbye to football, but not to you.” The announcement came as no surprise, as Ibrahimovic had previously revealed his intention to depart from the Italian club.
Throughout his extraordinary journey, Ibrahimovic etched his name in football history, netting an impressive total of 511 goals for clubs including Paris St-Germain, Manchester United, and both AC and Inter Milan.
His incredible accomplishments spanned across four countries, where he secured numerous league titles.
Having embarked on his second stint with AC Milan in early 2020, following his Scudetto triumph with them in 2011, Ibrahimovic played a pivotal role in helping the team claim the title once again last season.
However, this term, injuries limited his appearances to just four games, with a solitary goal to his name. As a result, with his contract set to expire this month, the decision to retire was made.
An emotional Ibrahimovic, struggling to hold back tears, addressed the crowd saying:
“There are too many emotions for me right now.
Forza Milan and goodbye. The first time I came here, you gave me happiness, and the second time, you gave me love. You welcomed me with open arms, made me feel at home, and I will remain a Milanista for the rest of my life.”
Ibrahimovic’s accolades include a staggering total of 34 trophies, with 14 league titles among them.
Regrettably, the Champions League, the ultimate club honor, eluded him, with his sole European triumph coming in the form of the 2017 Europa League with Manchester United.
In addition to his club successes, the iconic striker leaves as Sweden’s all-time leading scorer, having found the net 62 times in 122 international matches.
Although he initially retired from the national team after Euro 2016, Ibrahimovic made a comeback in 2021 for Sweden’s World Cup qualifying campaign, which unfortunately ended in disappointment.
Reflecting on his decision, Ibrahimovic shared with reporters:
“I used to be scared when journalists asked about my future, but now I can accept it, I’m ready. I’ve been doing this all my life. Football made me a man. It allowed me to know people I otherwise would never have known. I’ve traveled the world thanks to football. It’s all thanks to football.”
Ibrahimovic’s illustrious career began in 1999 with his hometown club, Malmo FF, before moving to Ajax in 2001, where he claimed three league titles during his three-year tenure.
A transfer to Juventus followed in 2004, securing two league titles that were later revoked due to the Calciopoli scandal.
Undeterred, Ibrahimovic added three more Serie A triumphs to his name with his next club, Inter Milan, before his switch to Barcelona in 2009.
Despite spending only one season at the Catalan club, Ibrahimovic managed to lift the La Liga trophy before being loaned to AC Milan.
The move was made permanent in 2011, but a year later, he embarked on a new venture, signing with Paris St-Germain.
His time in France saw him amass an impressive tally of 113 goals in 122 league appearances and clinch four Ligue 1 titles.
In July 2016, the charismatic striker joined the ranks of Manchester United, enjoying a fruitful two-year spell in the Premier League, where he triumphed in both