Sweden Honour Zlatan Ibrahimovic For The First Time Since His Retirement From Football

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    Zlatan Ibrahimovic fought back tears as supporters of Sweden paid a heartwarming tribute to their icon.

    Sweden were defeated 3-0 by Serbia at the Friends Arena in Solna, however, that didn’t dampen the lovely reception for Ibrahimovic.

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic retired from football in June 2023, calling time on an illustrious career that spanned over 2 decades.

    Sweden Pay Tribute To Icon Zlatan Ibrahimovic

    After walking on the pitch through a guard of honor, Ibrahimovic headed to a podium in the center circle and he was seen visibly emotional as above 45,000 fans serenaded arguably the country’s greatest player.

    Via a video that has circulated across social media, Zlatan Ibrahimovic joked with the crowd and indicated that he had missed the fans.

    He said: “I see that you have missed me…even on the field. I’ve missed you, too.”

    The 42-year-old was recognized for his contribution to the national team, which he represented for about 22 years.

    Ibrahimovic made 122 appearances for Sweden, scoring 62 goals and providing 25 assists.

    Ibrahimovic Thanked The Fans And Encouraged Players To Never Give Up

    The former Manchester United man addressed supporters in the stadium, appreciating them for their support.

    He also encouraged the younger generations to never give up, urging them to draw inspiration from his journey.

    Ibrahimovic was also shown a film of the many highlights of his career and was presented with a jersey marked with his number of appearances for Sweden.

    Additionally, the ex-Barcelona attacker is a 12-time Sweden Footballer of the Year award winner.

    Moreover, Zlatan Ibrahimovic appeared emotional on the day as earlier indicated, an odd scene for some fans, although this is not the first time that the Swedish great has displayed his softer side.

    Ibrahimovic was known for his immense confidence and bravado during his active playing days. 

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic also bid farewell to AC Milan fans in an emotional manner, as he was seen teary when he announced his retirement, having been battling knee injuries in the culminating years of his career. 

    Anyway, Ibrahimovic is regarded as one of the greatest strikers of all time and is one of the most decorated footballers in the world.

    The former Juventus man won 34 trophies in his stellar career, and he was key to the majority of his side’s triumphs.

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic played for several top clubs in his career, including; Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan, Juventus, and Manchester United.

    Cumulatively, Ibrahimovic made 827 club career appearances, scoring 496 goals and providing 202 assists across all competitions.

    Meanwhile, Serbia got their goals in the friendly affair through Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Dusan Tadic in the 18th, 60th, and 70th minute respectively.

    The encounter was Serbia’s final warm-up game before their first game in the 2024 European Championship, where they will face England on June 16, 2024.

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