Zlatan Ibrahimovic announces he will retire from football: ‘I say goodbye to football but not to you.’
Ibrahimovic was injured, so he was not involved in the game. However, he was given a hero’s farewell by the San Siro crowd, club directors and his teammates after the final whistle.
The 41-year-old was moved to tears even before kick-off, but emotions continued after the match when Ibra was awarded by Paolo Maldini.
He gave a speech, struggling to fight back the tears and, somehow surprisingly, announced his retirement from football. Many fans in the stands and some of his teammates, including Sandro Tonali, broke down in tears.
“So many memories and emotions inside this stadium,” said Ibra.
“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.”
Milan returned to Milan for a second spell in January 2020. Overall, he has scored 93 goals in 163 appearances with the Rossoneri winning two Serie A titles. The first one in 2010-11 and the second one in 2021-22.