Zlatan Ibrahimovic retires from Football

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AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic reacts after his last game for the club at the end of a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Hellas Verona at the San Siro stadium, in Milan, Italy, Sunday, June 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has retired from football at the age of 41, bringing to an end one of the modern era’s most glittering careers.

“I say goodbye to football but not to you,” the Swede told the San Siro crowd after Sunday’s last game of the season.

He scored 511 goals for clubs including Paris St-Germain, Manchester United and both AC and Inter Milan, winning league titles in four countries.

Ibrahimovic began his second spell with AC Milan in early 2020, having won the Scudetto with them in 2011, and helped them win the title again last season.

But he played only four times and started one match for the Serie A side this term – and scored one goal – following a series of injuries, and his contract was set to expire this month.

“There are too many emotions for me right now. Forza Milan and goodbye,” an emotional Ibrahimovic said, holding back tears.

“The first time I came here you gave me happiness, the second time you gave me love.

“You welcomed me with open arms, you made me feel at home, I will be a Milanista for the rest of my life.”

Ibrahimovic has won 34 trophies – including 14 league titles – and was nominated for the Ballon d’Or 11 times.

The one major club trophy that eluded him was the Champions League, with his only European title coming with Manchester United in the shape of the 2017 Europa League.

The striker also retires as Sweden’s all-time top scorer with 62 international goals in 122 matches.

He quit the national side after Euro 2016 but returned in 2021 for their unsuccessful World Cup qualifying campaign.

MILAN, ITALY – JUNE 04: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan acknowledges the public and teammates during a farewell ceremony following the Italian Serie A match between AC Milan and Hellas Verona at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on June 04, 2023 in Milan, Italy. Ibrahimovic’s time at AC Milan is coming to an end following their last match of the season against Hellas Verona. (Photo by Claudio Villa/AC Milan via Getty Images)

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