Zlatan Ibrahimovic retires from professional football at age 41.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan has departed from football at the age of 41, bringing to a close one of the most glittering careers of the modern era.
“I say goodbye to football but not to you,” the Swede told the San Siro crowd after the season’s final match on Sunday.
Ibrahimovic had previously proclaimed his departure from the Italian club.
He scored 511 goals for organizations including Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, and both AC and Inter Milan, and he won league championships in four countries.
Ibrahimovic began his second stint with AC Milan in early 2020, having won the Scudetto with them in 2011 and assisting them in reclaiming the title last season.
Due to a series of injuries, he only played four times and started one game for the Serie A club this season, scoring one goal. His contract was scheduled to expire this month.
“I am experiencing too many emotions at the moment. Forza Milan, and farewell,” said an emotional Ibrahimovic as he fought back emotions.
“The first time I visited this place, you gave me joy; the second time, you gave me affection.
“You welcomed me with open arms, you made me feel at home, and I will be a Milanista for the rest of my life.”
Ibrahimovic began his professional career with Malmo FF in 1999 before transferring to Ajax in 2001, where he won three league titles during a three-year stint.
In 2004, he moved to Italy to play for Juventus, where he won two league titles that were subsequently stripped from the club due to the Calciopoli scandal.
Before moving to Barcelona in 2009, the Swede won three more Serie A titles with his next club, Inter Milan.
Ibrahimovic spent only one season at the Catalan club, where he won the La Liga championship, before being loaned to AC Milan and making the transfer permanent in 2011.
A year later, Ibrahimovic was on the move once more, signing with Paris St.-Germain, where he scored 113 goals in 122 league appearances and won four Ligue 1 titles.
In his two-year tenure with the Premier League club, he won the League Cup and the Europa League. He joined Manchester United in July 2016 for a two-year contract.
In 2018, Ibrahimovic signed with MLS club LA Galaxy, spending two seasons in California before returning to AC Milan.In a career that began in the previous century, Ibrahimovic won 34 trophies, including 14 league titles, and was nominated for the Ballon d’Or 11 times.
The only significant club trophy that eluded him was the Champions League, with Manchester United winning the 2017 Europa League as his only European triumph.
The striker also departs as Sweden’s all-time leading scorer with 62 goals in 122 international matches.
He left the national team following Euro 2016, but returned for their unsuccessful World Cup qualification campaign in 2021.
After making his announcement, he told reporters, “I used to be terrified when journalists asked me about my future, but now I can accept it; I’m ready.”
“I have been doing this my entire existence. Football gave me manhood. It allowed me to meet persons I would have never met otherwise. Because of football, I’ve traveled the globe. All of this is due to football.”