Sun, 24 Sep 2023

Milan [Italy], June 5 (ANI): AC Milan star, Zlatan Ibrahimovic announced his retirement from football in an emotional speech after AC Milan's final game of 2022-23. Ac Milan was playing their final game of the season against Hellas Verona on Sunday. AC Milan defeated Hellas Verona 3-1 at San Siro to close out the season.

The Swedish striker's contract with the team was going to expire at the end of June but he announced his retirement on Sunday, "The time has come to say goodbye to football". Ibrahimovic was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

Ibrahimovic has scored 511 goals in 866 club games as well as 62 goals in 122 games for his country. The ex-Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain player has made four appearances this season.

An emotional Ibrahimovic spoke on the pitch at full-time, "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 Pioli (AC Milan's head coach Stefano) and his staff for the responsibility you have given me. I want to thank the managers for the opportunity."The AC Milan star went to thank the fans of Milan with a promise that he was saying goodbye to football not to them. "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 Milan fan for life. The time has come to say goodbye to football, but not to you.""I have too many emotions that are passing through me. See you around, if you're lucky. Forza Milan and goodbye". Ibrahimovic concluded.

Ibrahimovic started his journey at Malmo FF in 1999 after leaving for Ajax Amsterdam in 2001. He then commenced a career that has included leading European teams including Manchester United, Inter Milan and Milan.

Sweden's all-time top scorer with 62 goals in 121 matches, Ibrahimovic quit the national team after Euro 2016 but returned in 2021 for their unsuccessful World Cup qualifying campaign. (ANI)

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