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WorldEuropeZlatan is gone: what the most extraordinary Swede in world football will remember

Zlatan is gone: what the most extraordinary Swede in world football will remember

It seemed like he would play forever. After all, it’s hard to imagine football without its goals and statements. He always looked down on others a bit, but he proved he had the right to be called a great on the pitch.

And now he’s gone: on June 4, after the Milan match against Verona, 41-year-old Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic announced his retirement.

This season, due to injury, he only played four games for Milan and was more of a mentor than a footballer.

The 70,000-strong San Siro escorted Ibrahimovic out of football with a huge “Godbye!” banner. (“Bye, God!”), and he couldn’t hold back his tears.

Representation at the San Siro

Photo source: Marco Luzzani / Gettyimages

“I’m having trouble breathing, but everything is fine. I have so many memories associated with the San Siro. The first time I came to Milan you made me happy, the second time you honored me. I would like to thank the club, the management and thank the supporters from the bottom of my heart. You made me feel at home, I will stay Milanese for the rest of my life,” he said, addressing the stands.

The footballer has played in the best leagues in the world. In England he played for Manchester United, in Spain for Barcelona, ​​in Italy for Juventus, Inter and Milan, in France for PSG. There is also a performance for the American Los Angeles Galaxy in his career. Throughout his career he won more than 30 club titles.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Barcelona

Photo source: Manuel Queimadelos Alonso / Gettyimages

Zlatan began his journey in his hometown of Malmö when he was six years old. And already from childhood he showed his special character – victories were not in the first place for him. He liked to beat his opponents and leave them with nothing. Such a trip did not please the coaches and parents of other children. And he just got kicked off the team.

Ibra has carried this particularity and restlessness throughout his career. Often, he didn’t care about the parameters of the team and put himself, his talent first, in conflict with mentors. For example, at the dawn of his career, he refused Arsene Wenger himself, because he did not immediately offer the player a contract, but invited him to watch. “Zlatan does not go to auditions”, justifies the Swede a few years later. Or he could yell at Pep Guardiola himself. Zlatan had a real war with him: Guardiola benched Zlatan, and the Swede in the dressing room with the team called the coach a coward. In the end, it all ended with the departure of Ibra from Catalonia.

But there were real authorities in Ibrahimovic’s life – for example, Jose Mourinho. The footballer really showed his best game under the guidance of the Portuguese. Apparently two bright and special personalities caught the same wave. Although their joint work was really fiery – they criticized each other in the press, argued in the locker room, exchanged barbs. But they helped each other win a lot of trophies.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jose Mourinho

Photo credit: Ben Hoskins/Gettyimages

This guy says whatever he wants. I love it. He is the head of the army. Mourinho lights up the room as Guardiola draws the curtains. Mourinho has become a guy I’m ready to die for,” Ibrahimovic said of the coach.

Ibra was no less important figure in the national team. For the Swedes, the striker scored 62 goals in official and friendly matches, and many of them were true masterpieces. For example, in 2012 he scored with a kick from thirty yards above him against the England team, for which he received the Puskas award for best goal.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the Swedish national team

Photo credit: Alex Livesey/Gettyimages

You can love Zlatan, you can hate him, but you certainly can’t be indifferent to him. He did not just like himself in football, as it might seem at first glance. He was dedicated to the game. Who knows, maybe one day a special Swede will turn out to be a coach no less brilliant than Jose Mourinho.

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