Zlatan Ibrahimovic has decided to retire from professional soccer and left AC Milan three years after his comeback to the Italian club on Sunday. The Rossoneri fans had a very last chance to see him after the game against Hellas Verona, a 3-1 victory. The Swedish striker could not be part of the clash as he was injured but had a proper farewell right after the match ended. Before the game, the home fans celebrated Ibrahimovic with a special tifo that read "godbye" and the player looked emotional while it took place.
After the match, Ibrahimovic was celebrated by the home fans and the whole team at the center of the pitch. The Swedish star also spoke to the fans and announced his decision to retire.
There will be nobody like Zlatan: a unique, vicious footballer who was larger than life— Nico Cantor (@Nicocantor1) June 4, 2023
His gimmicks, acrobatics made him feared and revered. His longevity is a tribute to well being and professionalism. Football didn’t leave Zlatan. Zlatan left football.pic.twitter.com/UYxYF6Ncxk
"I can't breathe but it's okay, so many memories and so many memories inside this stadium. The first time I came here you gave me love, then happiness. I want to thank my family for their patience. I want to thank my second family, my teammates. I thank the coach, the staff, the managers. Lastly, but with my heart, I want to thank you fans. It's time to say goodbye to football, but not to you," the player said.
Ibrahimovic underwent knee surgery in 2022 and has only played 144 minutes in all competitions this season, scoring only once against Udinese making him the oldest player to score in Serie A's history. The Swedish striker came back to Italy in 2020 after playing two years with LA Galaxy where he scored 53 goals in 58 games. His second stint at AC Milan, where he also played from 2010 to 2012, was successful considering his impact since he rejoined the Rossoneri. Thanks to his support on and off the pitch, AC Milan won last season's Scudetto for the first time in eleven years, having been on the previous squad to win it in 2011.