Rome, June 4 (EFE).- Milan paid homage to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who will leave football. The Swedish striker is leaving after a campaign in which he has dressed short only four times due to a knee injury, but his role in the Milan club in this second stage always went beyond football.
This time Ibra was unable to maintain character and collapsed. A sea of tears flooded his eyes when he took the microphone to say goodbye to his family, some heartfelt last words to his fans and teammates, who dressed up for the occasion in a shirt that bore his name and made a corridor for him in San Siro to say goodbye to him. With honors.
“The time has come to say goodbye to football, not to you. You have welcomed me with open arms, I will be a Milan fan for the rest of my life,” he said from the center of the San Siro field, when he said goodbye to fans and teammates.
“The first time I was at Milan you gave me joy, the second time you gave me love. I thank my family for their patience, then the second family or the players and the coach with his coaching staff. Thanks also to the managers for the opportunity they have given me. I also thank the fans from the bottom of my heart who have welcomed me with open arms. I will be a Milan fan for life,” he added.
The Swede retires from football after 988 games and 573 goals spread across all the clubs he has been to and his national team.
Ibra, who will turn 42 in October, leaves Milan as a true legend and after a season away from the spotlight, but in which his role as a transcendental figure in the dressing room was impeccable. Always respected, both by players and by the coaching staff, he led the historic season last, 2021-22, to the ‘Scudetto’ champion to the top after 13 years without winning the title.
“His role has always been that of a great motivator and a great player, I hope he can continue to be so,” said his coach, the Italian Stefano Pioli, on February 10, in what was his first call-up of the season.
And it is that before that day against Torino, in which he did not even play, Ibra was recovering from the operation he underwent on his knee at the end of last season.
The Swedish striker played on May 22, 2022, against Sassuolo, the last game of the 2021-22 season that crowned Milan champion of the ‘Scudetto’ 13 years after their last conquest.
Three days after that match, Ibra underwent surgery for surgery on his left knee, an intervention that has kept him off the pitch for eight months.
He did not debut this season until February 26 against Atalanta. Four league games in a row and one with Sweden were enough for him to realize that he was still not one hundred percent recovered, so he stopped again until the end of the season.
A campaign in which, despite the complexity of the challenge, he achieved a new record. He signed it having played only four games and 126 minutes with the red and black shirt, which is said soon. On March 18, at the age of 41 years and 166 days, Ibra scored from a penalty, at the second attempt and against Udinese, thus becoming the oldest player to score in Serie A after beating Alessandro Costacurta.
Although the record surely leaves a good taste in his mouth, it has not stopped being a very difficult season for the international, who has had to watch from the bench how his team reached the semifinals of the Champions League and lost them against Inter , the greatest rival, in what would have been a precious reunion with a hobby that one day encouraged him.
In his farewell at San Siro he recalled his two stages. The first began 13 years ago, back in 2010, when he played for two years before going to PSG. The second, with which he hangs up his boots, from 2020 to 2023, in which a completely full stadium, with some 70,000 fans, fired one of his legends.
The Swede leaves figures of 93 goals and 35 assists, adding his 116 games in two stages and 988 games in which he scored 573 goals spread across all the clubs he has been to and his national team, but a much greater legacy that also includes two ‘Scudetti’ and an Italian Super Cup.
#Ibra #rossonero #myth #goodbye #tears