Football icon Zlatan Ibrahimovic retires after 24-year career


Football icon Zlatan Ibrahimovic retires after 24-year career
Zlatan Ibrahimovic dropped it.

The Swedish football icon announced his retirement in a rousing post-match speech in front of the home crowd at the San Siro stadium at the end of AC Milan’s Serie A season on Sunday. He did it after Milan’s 3-1 win over Verona. Ibrahimović, 41, made the announcement in streetwear. He hasn’t played since April with a calf injury.

“There are so many memories and emotions in this stadium,” Ibrahimovic said as he addressed fans, according to a translation from Italian by Mirror. “The first time you came, you gave me joy, and the second time you gave me love.”  …

“You welcome me with open arms and I will remain a Milanese for the rest of my life. It’s time to say goodbye to football, but not to you. It’s too difficult, too many emotions. I’ll see you again when it’s you You.” Lucky. Farewell, Forza Milan. ”
Ibrahimovic made the announcement, accompanied by his team-mates wearing his number 11 jersey. His retirement comes at the end of his second spell at AC Milan, which began in 2019. After knee surgery in 2022, injuries limited him to four games this season. Only on Saturday did he seem unsure about his retirement.

“I think I still have something to give,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport, according to “If I think about quitting? I don’t believe it. What if I have to keep playing? Probably.”

“But like in life, I have to find the balance. If you don’t have composure or stability, you’re a bomb, and the bomb goes off.”

Milan also announced on Saturday that they would not renew his contract, which expires at the end of the season.
Ibrahimovic started his career in 1999 at Malmö FF in Sweden, playing for nine teams including Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, ​​Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United before going on to The Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer spent two seasons. After his tenure at the Galaxy, he returned to AC Milan for the second time. He played for AC Milan from 2010 to 2012.

Ibrahimovic won three Serie A titles with Inter between 2008 and 2010. He won another Serie A title with AC Milan in 2012 and 2022. He played for the Swedish national team and ended his career with 62 goals, the all-time leading scorer. He helped Sweden reach the last 16 of the World Cup twice, in 2002 and 2006, and even finished fourth in the 2013 Ballon d’Or.

Widely popular for his aggressive style of play and consistent confidence, Ibrahimovic is a fan favorite in all of his appearances. He often talks about himself in the third person and refers to himself as “God” on several occasions.
“Dear Los Angeles,” the copy read.

“You’re welcome.”

It’s signed by him. That’s it.

AC Milan fans returned their love and passion as Zlatan Ibrahimovic said his farewell on Sunday. After the game, the stands were still full, the fans chanted and saluted, and the San Siro stadium was full of shouts of “Ibrahimovic, Ibrahimovic”.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of the most entertaining footballers in the world – on and off the pitch. But it was the end of an era, with the 41-year-old announcing his retirement on Sunday after a season with AC Milan. His career spanned 24 years and he played for Inter Milan, Barcelona, ​​Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and LA Galaxy.

From his incredible punches to his outrageous comments, he keeps us on our toes. The football world will miss him, but we’ve rounded up some of his best quotes.

1. “I can’t help laughing at how perfect I am.”

2. “Swedish style? No. Yugoslavian style? Of course not. It has to be Zlatan style.”
3. “Zlatan doesn’t audition.”
4. “What [John] Carew did to football, I can do to oranges.”
– Responding to Carew’s suggestion that Ibrahimovic’s moves and skills are “pointless”.

5. “First I go left; he goes too. Then I go right and he goes too. Then I go left again and he goes to get a hot dog.”
– on how he hung Liverpool defender Stephen Henchauds upside down.

6. “If you buy me, you buy a Ferrari. If you drive a Ferrari, you fill up with premium petrol, hit the motorway and hit the gas. [Pep] Guardiola fills up with diesel, in the country Run around. He should buy a Fiat.
– During his only season at Barcelona, ​​he had a strained relationship with then-coach Pep Guardiola.

7. “What does ‘now’ mean? She got Zlatan.
– About his ex-girlfriend’s engagement gift.

8. “We’re house hunting. If we can’t find anything, I’ll probably just buy the hotel.”
– at his unveiling as a Paris Saint-Germain player.

9. “It’s true I don’t know much about the players here, but they definitely know who I am.”
– On his move to Ligue 1 in 2012.

10. “We were looking through his playlist in the dressing room — there was lots of Justin Bieber, Jonas Brothers and Selena Gomez. It is nice to know that even David Beckham doesn’t have good taste in everything.”

11. “There was the thought that this would send me into retirement. I sent their entire country into retirement.”
12. “I don’t believe they can change the Eiffel Tower for my statue, even the people behind the club. But if they can, I will stay here — I promise you.”
13. And there was this famous exchange with a reporter ahead of the 2014 World Cup qualifying playoffs:

Zlatan: “Only God knows who will go through.”
Reporter: “It’s hard to ask him.”
Zlatan: “You’re talking to him.”

14. And when Sweden lost to Portugal and failed to qualify?
“A World Cup without me is nothing to watch, so it is not worth waiting for the World Cup.”

15. “Absolutely not. I have ordered a plane. It is much faster.”
– On rumours that he bought a Porsche.

16. “It felt like I had 11 babies around me.”
17. “I don’t give a s— who wins. I’m going on holiday.”
– His response after Sweden were eliminated from Euro 2012.

18. “An injured Zlatan is a serious thing for any team.”

19. “I like fireworks too, but I set them off in gardens or in kebab stands. I never set fire to my own house.”
– His response to Mario Balotelli’s fireworks incident.

20. “I can play in the 11 positions because a good player can play anywhere.”

21. “I didn’t injure you on purpose and you know that. If you accuse me again I’ll break both your legs, and that time it will be on purpose.”
– He didn’t appreciate Rafael van der Vaart’s accusation that purposely injured him.

22. “[Oguchi] Onyewu resembled a heavyweight boxer. He was nearly 6-foot-5 and weighed over 15 stone, but he couldn’t handle me.”
23. “If [Wayne Rooney] still wants to move next summer, or in January, I would urge him to come and play with me in Paris … If he did join, he would have to get used to the fact that Zlatan scores even better goals than him.”

24. “It was the fault of David Trezeguet, who made me do one drink of vodka after another. I slept in the bathtub. Now I hold my vodka much better.”
– On having one too many after Juventus’ 2005 title win.

25. “Then Guardiola started his philosopher thing. I was barely listening. Why would I? It was advanced bull**** about blood, sweat and tears, that kind of stuff.”

26. “[Jose] Mourinho is Guardiola’s opposite. If Mourinho brightens up the room, Guardiola pulls down the curtains and I guessed that Guardiola now tried to measure himself with him.”

27. “I don’t think that you can score as spectacular a goal as those of Zlatan in a video game — even though these games are very realistic these days.”

28. “I haven’t met her yet. But when I do, I’ll date her.”
– His response when asked to name the world’s most beautiful woman.

29. “People trashtalk me. I’ve heard so much s— over the years: ‘F—ing gypsy’, stuff about my mum — all that stuff. I retaliate with my body, not with words.”

30. “I came like a king, left like a legend.”
– Zlatan on his PSG departure.

31. “I won’t be the King of Manchester, I will be the God of Manchester.”
– His response to Eric Cantona’s comments that he would be the prince of Manchester.

32. “You can’t coach brilliance like that.”
33. “I think I’m like wine. The older I get, the better I get.”

34. “Who needs a nickname? To be afraid of me, just watch me play”
– His dig at Radamel Falcao, nicknamed “The Tiger.”

35. “If I had played in England I would have destroyed it, like I have everywhere else.”

36. “Keep booing. This is the biggest moment in your year seeing me.”
– His response to the away fans booing at him during his farewell speech.

Never change, Zlatan.