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AC Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic retires from football at 41

AC Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic has announced his retirement from football at the age of 41. 

The experienced centre-forward helped Milan lift the Serie A title in 2021-22, netting eight goals in 23 games. 

But he endured a disappointing campaign this term as a series of injuries limited his availability to just four matches. 

His current contract at the San Siro expires at the end of this month, and it will not be renewed. 

Ibrahimovich announced to Milan fans that he will say goodbye to football following the Rossoneri’s final game of the season against Hellas Verona. 

The former Manchester United player was in tears in front of the home crowd as he called time on his long and successful career. 

“I say goodbye to football but not to you,” he said via the Guardian). “So many memories and emotions inside this stadium.

“The first time I arrived, you gave me happiness – the second time, you gave me love. I want to thank my family and those close to me for their patience.

“I want to thank my second family. The players, the coach and his staff for the responsibility they gave me. I want to thank the directors for the opportunity they gave me.

“Last but not least, from my heart, I want to thank you, fans. You welcomed me with open arms and I will be a Milanista my entire life.

“It’s time to say goodbye to football, but not to you. It’s too difficult – there are too many emotions. I’ll see you around if you are lucky. Forza Milan and goodbye.”

Ibrahimovic started his professional career at Malmo FF in 1999 before moving to Ajax two years later. 

The 41-year-old went on to join some of the biggest clubs in Europe over the years, including Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United. 

He made 866 senior appearances in all competitions during his career, scoring 511 goals. 

The striker also has the distinction of winning league titles in the Netherlands, Spain, France and Italy

He represented Sweden in 122 international matches, scoring 62 goals. 

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