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Jeered During Retirement Speech, Zlatan Ibrahimovic Mocks Verona Fans. Watch

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One of the finest strikers of his generation, Zalatan Ibrahimovic announced his retirement from football on the final day of the Serie A. The AC Milan striker announced the big decision as his side took on Hellas Verona. But, during the retirement speech, the Swedish striker was booed by the Verona fans. The veteran forward, who is known to not mince his words for anyone, gave a sharp reply to Verona fans, and in return, received a massive applause from Milan fans. At the age of 41, Zlatan remains in peak physical shape but injuries limited his playing time to the bare minimum this season.

“You can boo, this is your moment because you can see me,” Ibrahimovic said in response on being jeered by Verona fans on Sunday.

Jeered During Retirement Speech, Zlatan Ibrahimovic Mocks Verona Fans. Watch

“It’s the moment to say goodbye to football, not just to you,” said Ibrahimovic on the San Siro pitch.

“There are too many emotions for me right now. Forza Milan and goodbye.”

The 41-year-old had been expected to simply bid farewell to Milan fans after his departure from the seven-time European champions was announced on Saturday.

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He returned to Milan in late 2019 for a second spell after a previous two-year period in which he won the Serie A title in 2011.

“The first time I came here you gave me happiness, the second time you gave me love,” said Ibrahimovic.

“You welcomed me with open arms, you made me feel at home, I will be a Milanista for the rest of my life.”

Ibrahimovic was a key figure in Milan’s resurgence to the top of Italian football after his return to the club, helping to bring them back from the doldrums and eventually win the Scudetto last season.

“I used to be scared when journalists asked by about my future, but now I can accept it, I’m ready,” Ibrahimovic told reporters after his announcement.

“I’ve been doing this all my life, football made me a man. It allowed me to know people I otherwise would never have known, I’ve travelled the world thanks to football. It’s all thanks to football.”

Over the course of his career Ibrahimovic won league titles in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and France, although his only major European trophy was the 2017 Europa League with Manchester United.

Making his announcement at the San Siro was appropriate as he also won three straight league titles with Inter Milan between 2006 and 2009 before a turbulent spell at Barcelona.

His retirement comes after a season in which he has hardly featured for Stefano Pioli’s side after being plagued with injuries, returning in February following surgery on his left knee in May.

In July he signed a deal that netted him around one million euros ($1.02 million) in fixed salary, with large bonuses linked to appearances and achievements.

But after agreeing that deal the 41-year-old only started one match and netted once for Milan, a 3-1 win at Udinese in March in which he became the oldest goal scorer in Serie A history.

With AFP Inputs

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Bernard Greenhall
Bernard Greenhall

Bernard is a sports and physical education expert with years of experience. He's passionate about promoting health and wellness through physical activity, and he's worked with athletes and non-athletes alike to help them achieve their fitness goals. Bernard holds a degree in Physical Education and is dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest trends and research in his field.

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