He turned 41 this month, and will not play due to a serious injury to his knee until next year. But retirement is the last thing Zlatan Ibrahimovic has in mind.
In an interview, the AC Milan forward stated that “I have a great passion for my sport.”
Ibrahimovic said, “I am in a different place now, with my age and the teammates I have. But I am enjoying every day because I believe that when you stop playing football, you won’t regret it so much that I didn’t have to.” Ibrahimovic’s contract with Milan is until June 30, 2023.
This is his second season with the Serie A team. The Swede has played 74 games and scored 36 goals for Milan. Last season, Ibrahimovic helped the Rossoneri to win the Serie A title for the first time in 11 years.
Ibrahimovic, Sweden’s all-time leading scorer with 62 goals said: “I’m trying my best to stay at the same level with these young boys working hard and just keep the rhythm.”
Ibrahimovic admits that even though he hasn’t decided to retire, he knows that he will not be contributing as much to the team’s success.
“I want health and I will continue to play until I reach that level,” stated the Swede.
“As long as I can get results, I will still be playing. If I slow down, I want people around me to be open and honest about it. Only then will I be realistic.
After Milan’s Scudetto victory, the Swedish striker announced on social media that the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which is the strong band of tissue connecting the thigh bone to your knee joint and the shin bone was not present in the final six months of the season, had been removed.
Ibrahimovic wrote that he received more than 20 injections over six months. This was in an Instagram post.
“Execute the knee one week per week for six months. Painkillers were taken every day for six consecutive months. The pain made it impossible to sleep for six consecutive months. Never had I ever suffered so much from the pitch.
Nonetheless, Ibrahimovic was still a player in 23 of 28 league matches last season, scoring eight goals.
Anderson was told by Ibrahimovic, “I think in mine I have this drive. I want to improve every day.” “I think that I have the mentality that if my work isn’t hard enough, I won’t feel good.
“I think that it takes you far. It challenges your body. Because it’s all about you. Can you go further? Can you go as far as your body will allow?
Ibrahimovic has had to miss a significant amount of time due to injury during his career. Another serious injury occurred when Ibrahimovic was playing for Manchester United.
His career was in jeopardy after the injury.
Ibrahimovic reflected on his 2017 injury, which left him out of action for almost a full year.
“So I didn’t know what to expect, or what was ahead of me when I was in that position.
“At first, it was scary because I didn’t know if or how I could return. I learned to accept it day by day.
“It was more mental. I could maintain calm and patience, as well as do boring training.
Milan has won either the Champions League or European Cup seven consecutive times, second only in Spain to Real Madrid. But the Rossoneri haven’t been champion since 2007, which is a rare drought for the club.
Since then, clubs such as Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain, have benefited greatly from the large-scale cash injections from oil-rich Gulf states. The English Premier League has also been blessed with foreign investment.
Anderson was told by Ibrahimovic that money brings about possibilities. ‘Money provides alternatives that other ones may not be able to offer, and the hype in Premier League has been much greater than in Serie A. That’s why there’s a much bigger economy.
“But it makes the game exciting because it becomes a challenge to the Italian clubs to beat them… but we are professional players and the ball still is a round thing so we are doing the same thing.”