We knew since Saturday that the love story between Zlatan Ibrahimović and AC Milan would end this season. It goes further than that. The Swedish football star announced on Sunday that he was ending his career. The 41-year-old told AC Milan fans on Sunday night that it was “time to say goodbye to football”.
“It’s time to say goodbye to football, not just to you. There are too many emotions now, go Milan and goodbye, ”he said at the microphone, on the pitch of the San Siro stadium, after the victory of his partners against Hellas Verona (3-1) on the 38th and final day of the season. The usually unfazed Swedish giant looked just as emotional as the audience, some of whom were swept away in tears.
AC Milan, the club to which he returned at the end of 2019 and which he largely contributed to bringing back to the top, with in particular the title of Italian champion in 2022, announced on Saturday a ceremony to “thank Zlatan for the wonderful moments that we spent together”. Because of repetitive injuries, the 40-year-old has hardly been able to play this season. He returned to competition in February after having surgery on his left knee in May 2022.
12 titles won with PSG
The Swede has started just one game this season, in March when they won 3-1 at Udinese. He then became the oldest goalscorer in the history of Serie A. At the end of March, he still hoped to be able to compete in Euro-2024, next year in Germany. But he then re-injured a calf during a pre-match warm-up in April, and has since finished the season on the sidelines, where he was again for the last game of his career on Sunday night .
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“We can only thank him for everything he has done for us. And it’s sad that a champion like that doesn’t play football anymore,” coach Stefano Pioli commented on the Milan club channel. Zlatan Ibrahimovic won his first Italian league title with Milan in 2011.
Also passed by Ajax Amsterdam, Juventus, Inter Milan, FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United, he has many league titles to his credit: two in the Netherlands, five in Italy ( three with Inter, two with Milan), one in Spain and four in France. He had also been elected best player in Ligue 1 for three years, before leaving the championship with a shock sentence of which he has the secret: “I arrived like a king, I leave like a legend”. At PSGhe won 12 titles, played 180 games and scored 156 goals.
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