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Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the name that resonates with the term striker. The individual who has made supporters thrilled and opponents shiver with the ball at his feet. The ultimate attacker who has scored goals like it was child’s play. Yes, the Legendary Swedish football player Zlatan Ibrahimovic announced his retirement from professional football a few days ago in a tear-jerking evening at San Siro.

Even a few months ago, nobody would have imagined Zlatan Ibrahimovic to hang up his boots rather would have definitely thought this guy will go on playing after his return from injury. However, age catches up with us all as time waits for none. The self-proclaimed god of football is also not an exception to this everlasting rule. But, to our utmost joy The Man, The Myth, The Legend ‘Zlatan Ibrahimovic’ has retired rather gracefully while still playing in his prime even at the age of 41.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Rise Of The Iconic Footballer

On 3rd October 1981, a healthy boy was born in Malmo, Sweden. His childhood can be described as turbulent at best as familial issues, harsh upbringing, and juvenile offences were constant companions throughout early adolescence. None of the people acquainted with Zlatan Ibrahimovic back then in their wildest dreams would not have thought that this delinquent boy will grow up to be one of the most Iconic Superstars of the Beautiful Game.

Author David Lagercrantz, co-writer of ‘I Am Zlatan’ stated, “Complex is the best word to describe Zlatan. On one hand, he’s a strong, warrior type who knew he had to be very tough to survive. So, he takes on fights all the time because he’s always had to. But another part of him is vulnerable. He’s a guy wounded by his upbringing, who uses all that to create strength for himself.

“In his position, 99 guys out of 100 would have gone under, but he used his anger to make himself better. He told me, ‘David, I need to be angry to play well’. When he played with middle-class kids, he felt inferior because he wore the wrong clothes and had no money, so he said to himself ‘One day I’ll show them!’ That became his motivation.”, he remarked.

This type of determined and tough attitude helped him survive the harsh reality of this cruel world. Zlatan set his goal to become a footballer very early on and never strayed from the path to realizing that dream. Coupled with that was his immense talent for the game and there you have it, the perfect recipe for becoming a successful footballer in a most competitive of eras in the history of the game.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic San Siro Farewell

Career Of Zlatan Ibrahimovic

In 1999, Zlatan Ibrahimovic began his playing career at Malmö FF. Two years later, he signed for Ajax, where he established himself as one of the most promising forwards in Europe. He left two years later to join the Italian giant Juventus. His stint with the Old Lady was cut short as decided to join domestic rivals Inter Milan in 2006 in the wake of being purportedly convinced to do as such by Italian vocalist Elena Zagorskaya.

At Inter Milan, he helped the team to come out on top for three successive Serie A championships and his prevalence encountered a critical increment. The impact Zlatan had as a scorer in Serie A was scary. However, in the summer of 2009, he moved to Barcelona in one of the world’s most costly exchanges. This move proved to be costly for Zlatan as he missed out on the treble-winning season of Inter, especially the prestigious Champions League which then eluded him for the rest of his illustrious career.  

He signed with Inter’s fiercest rival AC Milan and returned to Italy after just one season. With them, he came out on top for the Serie A championship in his debut season. Zlatan spent another season in Italy before joining French outlet PSG. When Ibrahimovic joined Paris Saint-Germain in 2012, he led them to their first Ligue 1 title in 19 years and quickly became a key player in their dominance of French football. He won four consecutive Ligue 1 titles during his four-season stay in France, was the top scorer in the league for three seasons, and became PSG’s all-time leading goal scorer at the time.

Zlatan moved to Manchester United for free in 2016 and won his first European championship in his first season by lifting the Europa League trophy. But, his time with the Red Devils was cut short just after two seasons as he moved across the Atlantic to join the MLS side LA Galaxy in 2018. After 18 months in the US, Ibrahimovic returned to Milan in 2020 and won his fifth Serie A title in 2022. Now, in 2023 he announced his retirement from a glittering career of 24 long years.

Ibrahimovic has been the mainstay of Swedish Football for decades but hasn’t had much success on the international stage with the national team. However, he is still the leading goal-scorer of all time for Sweden. He represented Sweden in the most prestigious competitions of football including the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, as well as the 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 UEFA European Championships.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Top 10 Goals

Awards, Trophies & Records

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of the greatest strikers of all time with over 570 career goals. His trophy cabinet and award showcase further support this claim. He is one of the most decorated players in the history of the game with a whooping 34 trophies. Zlatan also holds a rare record of scoring in the last four consecutive decades.

His trophies include 2 Eredivisie, 5 Serie A, 4 League 1, 1 La Liga and 1 Europa League title. There are cup trophies as well that include FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Supercoppa Italiana, Supercopa de Espana, and the EFL Cup.

Personal awards include,

Ballon d’Or Nominations: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

Ballon d’Or 4th place: 2013

Golden Foot: 2012

Globe Soccer Awards Player Career Award: 2022

FIFA Puskás Award: 2013

FIFA FIFPro World XI: 2013

There are other numerous accolades but let’s not get into so much info, but if you do want to know then just Google.

There are some incredible records held by Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Some of them are,

The only player to have scored at least a goal in De Klassieker in the Netherlands, Derby della Madonnina and Derby d’Italia in Italy, El Clásico and Derbi barceloní in Spain, Le Classique in France, Manchester Derby and North-West Derby in England, El Tráfico and California Clásico in the United States.

The only player to score in the UEFA Champions League with six teams: Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.

The only player to score on his Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 and UEFA Champions League debut.

The only player to have scored 50 Serie A goals for both Inter Milan and Milan.

The only foreign player to have won Capocannoniere with two teams, in addition to two teams from the same city: Inter Milan (2008–09) and AC Milan (2011–12).

One of three players, after Adrian Mutu and John Carew, to have scored in European competitions with seven different teams.

Oldest player to score in Serie A history.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Jimmy Kimmel Show

Unforgettable Moments

There have been many Zlatan Ibrahimovic unforgettable moments both on and off the field but I have selected my favorite three instances to share with you all.

The first one is the ‘Audition Incident’. When the great Arsene Wenger of Arsenal asked the young talent of Ajax to come for trials Ibrahimovic replied with this iconic comment, “Zlatan doesn’t do auditions!”

The second instance is the unreal bicycle kick. Unarguably, the greatest bicycle kick goal ever as he struck it from 35 yards out to score against England.

The third one is the absolutely arrogant but relatable quote after his team was knocked out in the playoff of the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers. After losing to Christiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, Zlatan said, “One thing is for sure, a World Cup without me is nothing to watch!”

Well, there can be no end to the things I want to write about Zlatan but I have to stop at some point and let this moment be the endpoint. If you are a football fan then you have definitely got to admire and respect Zlatan Ibrahimovic, whether you’re a fan of his or not. With that let’s end this feature here and if you want to check up on more sports articles do keep in touch with the Deshi Geek website.  



Reading and writing are my muse. Expressing myself through my writing is the purpose of me being here. The hope is to satisfy the readers with my penned pieces!!!

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