Swedish footballer, Zlatan Ibrahimović announced his retirement from football on Sunday after AC Milan’s final match of the Serie A season.
Ibrahimović is one of the players recognised and known for powerful long-range shots, acrobatic strikes, ball control and volleys.
The 41-year-old striker has 511 club goals to his name and 33 major trophies. He is often described as one of the most iconic football strikers in the world.
Ibrahimović began his career at Malmö FF in 1999 and signed for Ajax two years later, where he gained a reputation as one of the most promising forwards in Europe. He departed two years later to sign for Juventus before joining domestic rivals Inter Milan in 2006, where he won three consecutive Serie A titles.
In the summer of 2009, he moved to Barcelona in one of the world’s most expensive transfers. After just one season, he returned to Italy having signed for Inter’s rival Milan. With them, he won the Serie A title in his debut season.
In 2012, Ibrahimović joined Paris Saint-Germain, leading them to their first Ligue 1 title in 19 years and soon establishing himself as a leading figure in their dominance of French football.
However, the player, yesterday, while announcing his retirement from football said he is saying “goodbye to football, not just to you,” referring to the fans. He spoke on the San Siro pitch following Milan’s 3-1 win over Verona.
Zlatan is known for his skill and ability on the football pitch, but he is also known for his fiery personality and his tendency to speak his mind and that has created the most controversial moments of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Ibrahimovic is a player who is not afraid to speak his mind or stand up for himself on the pitch. His savage moments, including insulting Pep Guardiola, calling out Marco Materazzi, and scoring spectacular goals, have made him one of the most entertaining and controversial players in football history.
Here are his five of the most talked about moments:
1. Facing Marco Materazzi
In 2010, Ibrahimovic accused former Italian former footballer Marco Materazzi of insulting his wife and family. This, Ibrahimovic did during a match between AC Milan and Inter Milan.
However, the duo got into a fight and had separated by their colleagues and officials present.
The moment, many described as “standing up” for his family.
2. Bicycle kick goal against England
During a friendly match between Sweden and England in 2012, Ibrahimovic netted one of the most unique goals in the history of football.
He scored a stunning bicycle kick goal from 30 yards out that sailed over the goalkeeper’s head and into the net.
3. Four goals in a match against Anderlecht
In 2013, Ibrahimovic scored four goals out of five in a Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain and Anderlecht.
One of the uniqueness of the goals was, he scored with both feet and his head and from a range of distances. This describes his specular moves and his role in the elevation of his club.
4. Confronting Pep Guardiola
The player had once disclosed he had a contentious relationship with Spanish football manager, Pep Guardiola when they were both at Barcelona.
He made this known in his autobiography titled “I am Zlatan.”
Explaining what happened, Ibrahimovic said the manager insulted him during a training session by saying, “You have no balls.” Ibrahimovic was said to have replied to Guardiola, “You don’t have any balls either.”
5. Again, critising Pep Guardiola
Ibrahimovic had in 2019, criticized Guardiola for his accomplishment as manager of Manchester City.
“He’s not a man, he’s a coward. He’s a little baby who’s been pampered all his life,” he disclosed, in an interview with the Mirror.
Meanwhile, he also trolled Verona fans booing his retirement speech while addressing the fans of AC Milan during their final Serie A game of the season.
AC Milan defeated Verona 3-1 at San Siro, on Sunday.
As Ibrahimovic was giving his retirement speech, Verona fans jeered at him, to which he gave a cheeky response by saying, “Keep booing. This is the biggest moment in your year seeing me.”