“You have made me feel at home. For all this, I will be a Milanista for life. The time has come to say goodbye to football, not only to you.”
Zlatan Ibrahimović’s words will stay afloat in the San Siro stadium.
Words that made Milan‘a victory on June 4 become a bath of tears. The icon of Milan said goodbye in an emotional ceremony.
His teammates all dressed in the number eleven, making Ibra a corridor, with tears in their eyes, crying fans and even Zlatan Ibrahimović, known for his toughness, began to cry.
RED CARPET FOR IBRA
“So many memories. So many emotions in this stadium. I want to thank my family and everyone close to me, for their patience.
“I would like to thank my second family, the players. I want to thank the mister and his staff. And last but most important from the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank the fans,” Ibrahimović expressed.
His words were accompanied by a huge ovation from the fans.
“It has been a long career and I am proud and happy for everything that this career has lasted so long,” said Ibra.
“Football has made me become a man and has made me meet people that I probably would never have met, I have travelled all over the world thanks to football. All thanks to football.”
END OF AN ERA
Two seasons ago, the Swedish man arrived in Milan, where he had already played between 2010 and 2012. Last year with the Rossoneri he lifted the Italian title and although at first some people had doubted Ibra’s second time at the club, “what I had was passion,” he said.
“It is all passion and mentality and then we have won,” recalled Ibrahimovic.
This end of the season is quite different for Milan and its fans.
Much has been said about Milan being “Ibradependent”, the Milan we know today with Pioli, was born with the arrival of Ibrahimovic and yesterday it could be said that a new chapter began for AC Milan.
“I have trained a champion, the greatest champion I have ever trained. On the field and off the field. A very intelligent person. I am very sad,” Pioli commented on the departure of Zlatan, which is the point of reference when talking about the start of Stefano Pioli’s Milan.
“In the team, there are no longer little children who met Zlatan. They are already mature guys, full of experience, positive and negative, which has helped them grow,” said the Rossoneri coach, referring to the team after the Zlatan era.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
Since Zlatan confirmed that he will not play anymore, several offers have come for him. There were talks about one from Monza: “If one has accepted not to continue, the offers are no longer interesting,” Zlatan joked.
As a football lover, there is the possibility of staying in football but not as a player.
“This is not the time to make this decision. Now there are many emotions. I want to enjoy this summer to reflect on what I have done and when the summer is over I will see what to do.
“Being a director and a coach is a lot of responsibility,” said Ibrahimović. “It doesn’t mean that because I have been a player I can be a coach.”
Hellas Verona refused to be beaten so easily. It was Milan that dominated but it was difficult for them to reach the opposite goal. However, thanks to a penalty for Milan after Cyril Ngone’s foul on Brahim Diaz, Giroud put the hosts 1-0 up in the 45th minute.
In the second half, Milan did everything possible to continue scoring. But a header from close range by Marco Davide Faraoni in the 72nd minute put the score level. If it had stayed like this, it would have been the first draw with Verona since 2020. Milan have had four consecutive victories with the Verona team since then.
But in the 85th minute, Leao rescued Milan. After receiving an assist from Tomori, he finished off with his right foot from outside the area and scored. He dedicated the goal to his teammate Ibrahimovic. Milan of the past and Milan of the future.
After 90 minutes, Milan continued their quest for another goal and again Rafael Leao in the 92nd minute brought the score to 3-1.
Credit: AIPS Media