Zlatan Ibrahimovic RETIRES from football with immediate effect, with the 41-year-old Swedish legend scrapping plans to play on as he says emotional goodbye to AC Milan on final day of season
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic has retired from football with immediate effect
- He was due to leave AC Milan at the end of the season with his contract over
- After denying reports he would quit the sport, he’s now announced his exit
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has surprised the footballing world by announcing his retirement with immediate effect after AC Milan’s final match of the season on Sunday night.
Fans at the San Siro bid farewell to the Swedish striker ahead of his final game for the club, and while he said he was not going to retire, it now appears that the 41-year-old has changed his mind and quit the beautiful game, having made 988 professional appearances for club and country since 1999.
After the match, he told the AC Milan fans: ‘I say goodbye to football but not to you.’
Previous rumours had linked the football legend with a move to fellow Serie A side Monza, but Ibrahimovic has now decided to quit the sport entirely after leaving AC Milan at the end of his contract.
The Sweden international became Serie A’s oldest ever goalscorer when he netted against Udinese in March.
Footage on Twitter revealed an extremely emotional man as he soaked up the atmosphere after announcing the end of his playing days.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has retired from football aged 41 after the end of his time at AC Milan
Home fans bid goodbye to the Swedish striker with a huge ‘GODbye’ sign at the San Siro
His professional career started with Swedish club Malmo in 1999, and he also played for Ajax, Man United, and both Milan clubs in a stellar career.
He helped AC Milan lift the Serie A title in 2011, and joined them for in his second spell with the club in 2020. This stint lasted three years, peaking with last year’s Scudetto.
Ibrahimovic is Sweden’s all-time top scorer with 62 goals in 121 matches, despite quitting the national side in 2016, only to return five years later.
But the star’s recent years have been hit by injury, and he did not feature in the final game of the season, a 3-1 win over Hellas Verona.
Olivier Giroud scored a penalty just before half-time, while two late goals from Rafael Leao sealed the three points after Davide Faraoni had equalised for Verona.
The visitors now head into a one-off playoff game to decide if they will be playing Serie A football next season, after finishing equal on points with Spezia, who lost their final game of the season 2-1 away at Europa League final losers Roma.
More to follow…