Zlatan Ibrahimovic, one of the most recognized and controversial footballers of his generation, has announced his retirement from football at the age of 41. The news comes after the towering Swedish striker spent the last two seasons with AC Milan, helping them regain the Serie A title last season.
Ibrahimovic’s career spanned 24 years and seven countries, during which time he scored over 500 goals and won 32 trophies across the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and France. His club career began in 1999 with hometown club Malmo, where he scored a goal in every year since. He later moved to Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, and the LA Galaxy, where he continued to make an impact.
Ibrahimovic was known not only for his on-field prowess but also for his larger-than-life personality, which sometimes landed him in controversy. He developed his swagger as a rebellious teenager growing up in one of Malmo’s housing projects. Later, he was infamous for his clashes with coaches and teammates, including Pep Guardiola, with whom he had a turbulent relationship during their time together at Barcelona.
Despite the controversies, Ibrahimovic leaves behind a legacy as one of the greatest footballers of his generation. He was tall, physically dominant, and capable of scoring from anywhere on the pitch. He was also known for his black belt in taekwondo, which he earned as a teenager.
Ibrahimovic enjoyed his most prolific spell with Paris Saint-Germain, scoring 156 goals in 180 appearances between 2012 and 2016 while winning league titles in each season. However, his strongest connection was with Milan, where he returned twice and scored 93 goals in 163 games for the Rossoneri. He helped Milan return to competitiveness following years of mismanagement and ownership turmoil. They clinched their first Serie A title in 11 years last May.
In his retirement speech, Ibrahimovic thanked Milan and their fans, saying that he will be a Milanista for the rest of his life. It was a fitting tribute to a striker who has been one of the most dominant forces in Italian football over the past decade.
Overall, Ibrahimovic’s retirement marks the end of an era for football. His passion, skill, and dedication to the sport will be remembered for generations to come, and his unique personality will remain an indelible part of his legacy. The football world will miss him, but his impact on the game will continue to be felt for years to come.