Zlatan Ibrahimovic finally say goodbye to football after AC Milan’s win

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has finally made the decision to leave professional sports on Sunday. The 41-year-old’s Milan contract expires at the end of June and won’t be renewed after a season hampered by injuries, forcing him to finish a wonderful and successful career.

However, Ibrahimovic later acknowledged in a press conference that no one had foreseen the important news he was about to reveal. He graciously exited after giving his final statement to the Milan supporters.

“Even my family didn’t know, because I wanted that when I announced it everyone heard it at the same time,” he said.

Ibrahimovic made 163 appearances and 93 goals during his two seasons at Milan. He assisted Milan in winning Serie A last year, giving him his second league title with the Rossoneri.

He returned in January 2020. The prolific striker, who finished his career with 561 goals for club and country, cried on the sidelines as Milan fans waved a giant banner that read “Goodbye” and sang his name. Ibrahimovic kissed supporters while forming a heart with his hands. After the game, a special ceremony was performed in his honour, and the Milan players and staff welcomed him onto the field with a guard of honour.

“I say goodbye to football, but not to you,” he said after being feted by the San Siro crowd following Milan’s 3-1 win over Hellas Verona in their season finale.

“I have so many memories and emotions inside this stadium,” he said. “The first time I arrived you gave me happiness, the second time you gave me love.

“I want to thank my family. I want to thank my second family: the players. I want to thank the coach and his staff for the responsibility, I want to thank the directors for the opportunity. Last but not least, from my heart, I want to thank you fans.”

Ibrahimovic, who has scored 62 goals in 121 games for Sweden, left the team following the 2016 Euros but returned in 2021 for their disastrous World Cup qualifying campaign. He scored the most goals in his career with PSG, where he netted 156 times in 180 games, while also tallying 53 goals in 55 MLS appearances for the LA Galaxy. Ibrahimovic concluded his remarks in a flamboyant fashion and with a smile.

He said: “It’s too difficult, there are so many emotions going through me now. But I will say, ‘I’ll see you around if you’re lucky.’


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