By Dylan Bettencourt
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has officially announced his retirement from football at the age of 41.
Following a season marred by injuries and with his contract set to expire at the end of June, the Swedish football superstar has decided to bring an end to his remarkable and successful career.
Having returned to Milan for his second stint with the club in 2020, Ibrahimovic had previously won the Italian league title, Scudetto, with Milan in 2011 and played a key role in helping them secure the title once again last season.
Following Milan’s 3-1 victory over Hellas Verona in their season finale, Ibrahimovic bade an emotional farewell to the San Siro crowd.
“I say goodbye to football but not to you,” he said, fighting back tears.
“It’s too difficult, there are too many emotions. I’ll see you around if you are lucky. I want to thank you, the fans. You welcomed me with open arms, and I will be a Milanista my entire life.”
He said there were so many memories and emotions in 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 thank my second family – the players, the coach, and staff – for the responsibility they gave me. I thank the directors for the opportunity they gave me.”
Beginning his professional career at Malmo in 1999, Ibrahimovic went on to play for clubs such as Ajax, Juventus, Barcelona, Manchester United, Inter Milan, and Milan.
During his career, he scored a total of 511 goals and won league titles in four different countries. Ibrahimovic is also Sweden’s all-time leading scorer with 62 goals in 121 matches.
Although he initially retired from international football after Euro 2016, he returned to represent Sweden in their World Cup qualifying campaign in 2021, which ultimately ended in disappointment.
Pictured above: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Image source: Twitter