Swedish football legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic has announced his retirement from football, marking the end of an illustrious 24-year career. The 41-year-old striker, who most recently played for AC Milan, decided to hang up his boots as his contract with the Italian club expires at the end of the month.
A Glittering Career
Ibrahimovic’s illustrious 24-year career began with the Swedish side Malmo in 1999. Over the years, he has scored a staggering 511 goals and won 32 trophies. His trophy cabinet includes league titles from the Netherlands, Spain, France, and Italy, with both Inter and AC Milan.
During his tenure at Manchester United, Ibrahimovic played a pivotal role in the club’s victory in the EFL Cup and the Europa League in 2017. However, his time at Old Trafford was cut short due to a severe cruciate ligament injury.
Despite the setback, Ibrahimovic made a remarkable recovery from his knee injury. He spent the next 21 months at LA Galaxy before returning to Italy for a second stint at AC Milan. His return to the Italian club was marked by success as he helped the club claim their first Serie A title in 11 years last season.
On the international stage, Ibrahimovic has been capped 122 times by Sweden and is their all-time leading scorer with 62 goals.
A Heartfelt Farewell
In his farewell speech at San Siro, Ibrahimovic expressed his gratitude and love for the game and his fans. He said, ‘So many memories and emotions inside this stadium. The first time I arrived you gave me happiness, the second time, you gave me love. I want to thank my family and those close to me for their patience. I want to thank my second family. The players, the coach and his staff for the responsibility they gave me. I want to thank the directors for the opportunity they gave me.’
He continued, ‘Last but not least, from my heart, I want to thank you, fans. You welcomed me with open arms and I will be a Milanista my entire life. It’s time to say goodbye to football, but not to you. It’s too difficult, there are too many emotions. I’ll see you around if you are lucky. Forza Milan and goodbye.’