Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a soccer icon from Sweden, announces his retirement at age 41.

The 41-year-old Swedish great Zlatan Ibrahimovic has announced his retirement from an illustrious soccer career, making him the oldest player to score in Serie A history in Italy.

Following his side AC Milan’s 3-1 victory against Hellas Verona in the season finale on Sunday, the famous striker made the news.

“It’s time to say goodbye to football, but not to you,” Ibrahimovic addressed the Rossoneri supporters at the San Siro stadium while seeming upset.

The mysterious star’s contract will not be extended at the end of this month, therefore the club had previously indicated it would organize a modest ceremony to tell him farewell.

“The first time I arrived you gave me happiness, the second time, you gave me love,” Ibrahimovic said. “You welcomed me with open arms, you made me feel at home and I will be a Milanista my entire life.”

With 62 goals in 121 international games, he retires as Sweden’s all-time leading goal scorer. After Euro 2016, he gave up playing for his country, although he came back for Sweden’s unsuccessful 2021 World Cup qualification campaign. At a news conference on Sunday, brahimovic said he will take a little time to recover before deciding what to do.

“For the moment, I just want to take some time and enjoy what I’ve done,” he said. “It’s not right to make decisions in a hurry, there’s too much emotion right now. I want to take the summer off, reflect and then we’ll see.”

Legendary career

In 1999, the Swede made his professional debut with Malmö FF in his home country. Two years later, he moved to the Netherlands to play with Ajax. In 2002, Ibrahimovic won the KNVB Cup and the Eredivisie twice.

Ibrahimovic played for some of the top clubs in Europe after his time at the Dutch club, including Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, and Manchester United.

The Swede won two Serie A championships with Juventus during his initial stay in Italy, but they were later revoked as a result of the Calciopoli match-fixing incident. After moving to Inter Milan in 2016, Ibrahimovic won three league championships.

Ibrahimovic left Italy in 2009 to join Barcelona, a Spanish powerhouse, where he spent just one season before winning the La Liga championship. His time in Spain was brief since in 2010, he was loaned to AC Milan, and the arrangement became permanent in 2011.

Ibrahimovic joined Paris Saint-Germain in 2012, where he scored 113 goals and collected 12 titles, including twice the domestic quadruple. Despite never having won the illusive Champions League championship, the striker assisted Manchester United of the English Premier League in winning the Europa League in 2017.

The dynamic striker returned for a second stint with AC Milan in early 2020 after joining MLS team LA Galaxy in 2018, where he scored two incredible goals on his debut. This second stint helped the Italian team win the Scudetto the previous season.

Ibrahimovic, who played in just four games this past season due to injury, scored his 41st and 166th goal in Serie A history against AC Milan’s 3-1 loss to Udinese in March.

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