Ibrahimovic hangs up his boots after batting for the past four decades
His goals, his ego, his humanity with the little ones, his problems with Guardiola… Ibra is already part of the recent history of football
Football is a sport of contrasts: who wins and who loses, who attacks and who defends, who plays and who stays on the bench… the nice and the nasty, even if the latter have been lost. years.
In times in which communication and society try to turn footballers into examples, there is a player who, despite his age, still believed himself better than the others, who was born to be a legend, who still dared to say that a competition was worthless without him or that the Ballon d’Or was nothing more than a farce for those who ‘fit well’. Here because, Ibrahimovic’s recent retirement It is something more than the retirement of a player, it is the loss of the unsympathetic figure by definition, who said everything that came to mind in front of the media. regardless of the consequences.
A player of eternal contrasts
Then, of course, comes the football defeat. You have to be very good so that, having become such a unique character, you will be remembered more for what you ‘said’ on the green than outside of it. We will never know if the character ate it at certain moments, but the truth is that if he claimed to always be the best, words were translated into deeds on the field.
Ibrahimovic, in his more than 800 matches and almost 500 goals in the best leagues in the world, has left authentic goals full of technique, power and elasticity. Over time he has become one of the most complete ‘9’ of the century. He always celebrates with open arms and with the face of a few friends.
It will remain to remember the Chilean who scored for Sweden against England and who presented him with the Púskas award. Or Maradona’s career against NAC Breda with Ajax. Or the ‘taekwondo’ goals with the Inter and Milan jersey. Or the goal in the classic against Real from the center of Dani Alves. Because Zlatan was that: a Chilean full of strength, power, elasticity and madness and then a game more typical of a short baseball player. An eternal and fabulous contradiction. Hot-blooded Swede and player with a tank body.
Egocentric, but loyal companion
Ibra has known how to live with excessive self-centeredness and has earned the love of many of his colleagues for his dedication and talent, but above all for having always known how to establish himself as a leader in the dressing room. And if not, ask Milan.
He arrived in his thirties, ensuring that he would turn Milan into a winning team that would taste success again. A few months later, the AC Milan team will be proclaimed Serie A champions. A boy with clear ideas, but above all with an immeasurable hunger for victory, capable of facing anyone. He did it with Pep, whom he called a “philosopher”.
But in that ferocious, arrogant and more than presumptuous personality sometimes hid a boy close to the little ones, who tended to use that unpleasant ‘mask’ aimed at the public to further fuel his character and his figure. Bojan, in the recent interviews he has given, has never tired of saying that there is no better teammate than the Swede.
Yesterday, at 41 and after an injured season, Ibrahimovic decided that his football was already writing the back cover of the book. He didn’t tell anyone and announced it surprisingly when Milan only thought about sacking him as he deserved. Ibra stuff. In Malmö, Ajax, Milan, Turin, Barcelona, Paris, Manchester and Los Angeles will not forget it. It’s time to rest and put the mask away. Although it may not be a mask. Maybe it was the character. Or perhaps it was neither a mask nor a character. Who knows. We will remain with that doubt. And with his football years, of course.