Home » Ibrahimovic retires after Milan-Verona: ‘Time to say goodbye to football’

Ibrahimovic retires after Milan-Verona: ‘Time to say goodbye to football’

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Ibrahimovic retires after Milan-Verona: ‘Time to say goodbye to football’

Ibra said goodbye to Milan and also to football: “It’s time to say hello”. He did it in his speech in midfield, praised by all of San Siro. Then in the conference: “Even my wife didn’t know that I was going to leave football. This morning it was raining and I said ‘God is sad too’. Three months ago I would have panicked, today I accept it. Future as a coach or manager? I need time to think about it”

Black shirt, black pants. Ibra in midfield. Moved, with the magician. He and the whole stadium, even his teammates, especially Tonali. Maldini, Scaroni and Massara waiting for him, with the whole team. “Ready to pay homage to a football legend”, roars the San Siro announcer. Ibra enters, receives a celebratory shirt delivered by Maldini, signed by all the players. Emotional video on the big screen. Then he speaks: “It’s time to say goodbye to football, I will always be a Milan fan”. Then his words in the conference.

Ibra at the conference: “No one knew I would announce my retirement”

“We decided to say goodbye, but no one knew my decision about the future. From today I am a free man from this world. It’s been a long career. I’m proud and happy that it lasted this long. Thanks to everyone who gave me adrenaline. Today is the last as a professional. I want to thank Milan for everything they have done. I also go back to all the teams where I played. Those who have been important to me know this and I thank them, even if I forget some names. Future? There will come a next chapter of my life. Today I woke up and it was raining. I thought ‘even God is sad’. I hadn’t told anyone, not even my family. The emotion was too strong. I looked like a zombie who didn’t talk or joke. Three months ago I would have panicked, now I accept it. Of course I’m also sad, I’ve been doing this my whole life. Football made me a man.”

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“Future manager or manager? I need time to think about it”

“When did I make the decision? In the last ten days, I thought ‘enough, you have to be proud, accept it and finish well’. Unfortunately I couldn’t be on the pitch. But what I experienced today was too good, it will be a memory for all life. Milanello? The car went by itself there, now I have to find a new destination. This last adventure with Milan was different, I arrived with responsibility, like a pilot. Future as a coach or manager? I leave football played, not football. Now we need to take time, we don’t need to decide right away, I’ll think about it. Being a coach or manager is a big responsibility, not as a player. Having been a great footballer doesn’t mean that I would also be a top player on the bench.”

Dedicates it to Raiola

“Another Ibra in the future? There is only one Zlatan. Leao will have a different type of story, nothing compares to anyone.” So the memory of Raiola: “When he left everything was different, before I spoke to him about everything. Had it been for Mino I would have played football again because he would have wanted the commission (laughs, ed.)”. Then he looks at the sky: “Excuse me, Mino, but it’s the truth (laughs, ed.)”.

The locker room, Milanello and Superman

“This team has become my family. From two children at home, twenty-five more have arrived. I will miss the dressing room, and I will also miss the road to Milanello. I am Superman, but I also have a big heart. Milan’s best moment “I couldn’t even have dreamed of a final like today, but all the moments were beautiful. Every day. Have I had offers? Yes, but if you’ve decided to stop, offers are no longer of interest.”

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Pioli: “Ibra is the greatest I’ve ever coached”

“A champion, the greatest I’ve ever coached. A reference on and off the pitch, a very intelligent person. I’m sad, I understand it wasn’t easy. He was a point of reference for me and for the whole team” – he was Pioli’s message in the post-match conference.

Ibra’s full speech at the San Siro

“I have so many memories and experienced so many emotions here, the first time I came here you gave me happiness. The second love. I want to thank my family, everyone close to me, for their patience. I want to thank my second family, the players. I want to thank Pioli and his staff for the responsibility you have given me. I want to thank the executives for the opportunity. But most important of all: from my heart I want to thank you fans. You welcomed me with open arms, made me feel at home. I will be a Milan fan for life. It’s time to say goodbye to football, but not to you. We’ll see you around if you’re lucky. Come on Milan and goodbye”.

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