Zlatan Ibrahimovic announces retirement from football

Swedish football star, Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Sunday, June 4, announced his retirement from international football at San Siro.

The 41-year-old striker had attended AC Milan’s win over Hellas Verona in their final game of the Serie A season, though was unable to play due to injury. But he was welcomed onto the pitch after the final whistle, where he was given a hero’s farewell by the home crowd, club directors, and his teammates.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic announces retirement from football
Ibrahimovic announces his retirement at San Siro. Source: Getty

Ibrahimovic who got quite emotional while announcing his retirement from football said;

“The first time I came here you gave me happiness, the second time you gave me love. You welcomed me with open arms, you made me feel at home, I will be a Milanista for the rest of my life.

“I used to be scared when journalists asked by 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 travelled the world thanks to football. It’s all thanks to football.”

The Swede returned to Milan in late 2019 for a second spell after a previous two-year period in which he won the Serie A title in 2011.

He’s been a key figure in Milan’s resurgence to the top of Italian football after his return to the club, helping to bring them back from the doldrums and eventually win the Scudetto last season.

Ibrahimovic’s career spanned 24 years, with spells at nine clubs in total. He first broke into professional football at Malmo, where 18 goals in three years earned him a move to Ajax.

He helped the Dutch giants to win the Eredivisie in his first campaign in Amsterdam before leaving for Juventus after four years. After Juve was relegated following a match-fixing scandal, the Swede joined Inter Milan, where he won three successive Serie A titles.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic announces retirement from football
Ibrahimovic training ahead of a match. Source: Getty

He then had a short-lived spell at Barcelona before returning to Italy on loan at AC Milan. That move was made permanent in 2011 and he duly fired in 35 goals in 44 appearances in the following campaign.

His performances earned him another move, this time to Paris Saint-Germain, where he won four successive Ligue 1 titles. After leaving PSG in 2016, he opted to join Manchester United, where he finally got his hands on a European trophy in the form of the Europa League.

His stay at Old Trafford also proved to be short-lived and he appeared to begin winding down his career with a move to LA Galaxy. But after two years in the MLS, he returned for a second spell at AC Milan, scoring eight goals to help them win the Serie A title last season.

While he was not able to enjoy as much success on the international stage, he scored many memorable goals for Sweden. And he also developed a memorable personality off the pitch, with many moments in the spotlight.

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