Zlatan Ibrahimovic announces retirement from football

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has announced he is retiring from football aged 41.

The AC Milan striker revealed he had decided to end his football career on the San Siro pitch following his club's final game of the Serie A season.

"I have many memories and many emotions in here," the Swede said.

"The first time I arrived here, you gave me happiness. The second time, love. I will be a Milan fan for life.

"The time has come to say goodbye to football, but not to you. See you around, if you're lucky. Forza Milan and goodbye."

Ibrahimovic appeared emotional as he was serenaded by the Milan fans and then given a guard of honour by his teammates as he left the pitch.

The former Manchester United striker has spent most of the season on the sidelines due to an injury and played just four times for Milan, scoring once in a 3-1 defeat at Udinese in March, and his departure from the club had already been announced.

Last July he renewed his contract for another year despite facing the prospect of a lengthy rehabilitation from knee surgery.

Shortly after helping Milan win the Serie A title, he had undergone a planned procedure on his left knee to repair damage and instability caused by a previous anterior cruciate ligament injury.

It meant a lengthy lay-off, and Ibrahimovic did not make his first appearance of his season until the end of February.

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A striker with style

Ibrahimovic was renowned for scoring a long-range overhead kick against England in 2012 - his fourth goal of that particular match, which ended 4-2 to Sweden.

He began his career at Malmo and joined Ajax in 2001 after rejecting the overtures of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

"Arsene Wenger asked me to have a trial with Arsenal when I was 17. I turned it down. Zlatan doesn't do auditions," was how he put it in his own particular style.

The striker also had spells with Juventus and Inter Milan before an unhappy spell at Barcelona, where he complained about how he was used by manager Pep Guardiola.

"When you buy me, you are buying a Ferrari," Ibrahimovic said.

"If you drive a Ferrari, you put premium fuel in the tank, you drive on to the motorway and you floor the accelerator.

"Guardiola filled up with diesel and went for a spin in the countryside. If that's what he wanted, he should have bought himself a Fiat from the start."

Sweden's all-time top scorer

Ibrahimovic joined AC Milan for the first time in 2010, initially on loan, before moving to Paris St Germain where he scored 113 times in 122 league appearances.

He also won the Europa League and League Cup with Manchester United, and enjoyed a spell at LA Galaxy before returning to the San Siro.

Ibrahimovic was Sweden's all-time top scorer with 62 goals in 122 matches.

He quit the national team after Euro 2016 but returned in 2021 for their unsuccessful World Cup qualifying campaign.