"Goodbye to football, but not to you" An Emotional Zlatan Ibrahimovic Finally RETIRES From Football At Age 41.

Milan legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic has announced his retirement from football with immediate effect at the age of 41.

Ibrahimovic had announced to AC Milan fans that he will bow out of the game after they played their final game of the season against Hellas Verona on Sunday.

He arrived in Milan for his second spell with the club in early 2020, having won the Scudetto with them in 2011, and helped them win the title again last season.

 Zlatan was in tears in front of the San Siro crowd as he bid an emotional farewell to the club and called time on his glittering career, following an injury-plagued season.

The Swedish great was given a guard of honour by his AC Milan team-mates as he left the pitch.

Earlier in the evening Rafael Leao had celebrated his second, and Milan's third, goal of the game by celebrating with the veteran striker on the sidelines. AC Milan beat Hellas Verona 3-1.

AC Milan had already revealed this week that they would not renew his contract which ends this June, despite his assertion that he would keep playing next season, this proves to be the end of his career. 

He made just four appearances this season, starting one match for the Serie A side, scored one goal, and last last featured against Udinese on March 18.

Speaking on the pitch at full-time, Ibrahimovic said:"I say goodbye to football but not to you," he told the San Siro crowd holding back tears after Sunday's last game of the season.

 "I have so many memories and lived so many emotions in here, the first time I arrived here you gave me happiness. The second time love.

"I want to thank my family, everyone close to me, for their patience. I want to thank my second family, the players. I want to thank (AC Milan head coach Stefano) Pioli and his staff for the responsibility you have given me. I want to thank the managers for the opportunity.

"But most important of all: from my heart I want to thank you fans. You welcomed me with open arms, you made me feel at home. I will be a Milanista for the rest of my life.

"I have too many emotions that are passing through me. See you around, if you're lucky. Forza Milan and goodbye."

Ibrahimovic began his professional career at Malmo FF in 1999 and left for Ajax Amsterdam in 2001 for a three-year spell in which he won three league titles.

He further moved to Italy in 2004 with Juventus, where he won two league titles, both of which were later stripped from the club as a result of the Calciopoli scandal.

However, the Swede won three more Serie A titles with his next club, Inter Milan, before a move to Spain with Barcelona in 2009.

Ibrahimovic spent only one season at the Catalan club, winning a La Liga title before being loaned to AC Milan, a move which was made permanent in 2011.

A year later, Ibrahimovic was on the move again, signing for French club Paris St-Germain (PSG), where he scored 113 goals in 122 league appearances and won four Ligue 1 trophies.

In July 2016, he signed for Manchester United for a two-year spell with the Premier League club that saw him win the League Cup and the Europa League.

Ibrahimovic signed for MLS side LA Galaxy in 2018, spending two seasons in California before making his return to AC Milan.

The enigmatic and prolific striker won league titles in four countries which are the Netherlands, Spain, France and Italy across his 24 years in professional football. He scored 511 goals in 866 club games as well as 62 in 122 matches for his country.

Ibrahimovic is Sweden's all-time top scorer, and quit the national team after Euro 2016 but returned in 2021 for their unsuccessful World Cup qualifying campaign.

He won a total of 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 victory under manager Jose Mourinho.

"I used to be scared when journalists asked by about my future, but now I can accept it, I'm ready," he told reporters after his announcement.

"I've been doing this all my life. Football made me a man. It allowed me to know people I otherwise would never have known. I've travelled the world thanks to football. It's all thanks to football."

It's not yet known what lies in store for the legendary attacker. However, it's safe to say that he won't be jumping into the dugout anytime soon as manager. 

He had previously revealed how his coaching career would look like when he jokingly said in an interview;"Impossible. Because during the match I’d slap at least two players and, after the match, eight!"

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