Zlatan won Serie A at 40 and lit a cigar

Zlatan won Serie A at 40 and lit a cigar

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22 May 2022
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Nick
Zlatan

AC Milan beat Sassuolo 3-0 to win their first league title since 2011. And then, and now Zlatan Ibrahimovic played for the team. This time the Swede came out in the 72nd minute, managed to score from offside, and came out for the awards ceremony with a bottle of champagne and a cigar. Of course, Ibra deserved this holiday. But his January quote immediately came to mind: “Usually at 40 you settle down at home, light up a cigar and look back on your career with satisfaction. But I’m not ready to smoke that cigar yet.” Maybe ready now? A couple of days ago, Football Italia wrote that Zlatan would only announce the future after the final game. Earlier it was reported that the Swede could be offered a leadership position at the club, but he wants to play more. However, the title is likely to encourage Ibra to leave beautifully.

Ibrahimovic now has 12 championships in his collection. He returned to Milan from MLS to pull the club out of the crisis

Zlatan can be satisfied with his career – he has won 32 trophies, including 12 titles in four countries. Let’s remember all the titles: two with Ajax (2001/02, 2003/04), three with Inter (2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09), one with Barcelona (2009/10), four with PSG (2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16) and now two with Milan (2010/11, 2021/22). But there were two more canceled due to Calciopoli with Juventus. If you take into account these championships, then Ibrahimovic for eight years from 2003 to 2011 became a real talisman of victories. Then he changed five clubs from three countries – and finished first with each! In 2012, he took a short break, and then took another 4 championships in a row in France.The title with Milan in 2011 was special for him. Then Italy was very much needed by Ibra himself after a difficult period at Barca (comfort was hindered by imperfect relations with Guardiola). The Swede managed to reboot: Ibra scored 21 11 and led the club to the first gold in seven years. In his second season at Milan, Zlatan scored 35 goals, 28 of them in Serie A (10 from penalties). The Swede won the Italian Super Cup, became the top scorer of the championship and left for PSG. Then there was Manchester United and a trip to the MLS. It seemed that the Swede was moving smoothly towards a well-deserved retirement, but no such luck. The crisis state of Milan did not give Zlatan peace, in 2019 he attacked the club with criticism: “I have never felt as strong as in Milan. Those were special years for me. They gave me back the joy of playing that I lost at Barcelona. But the current Milan is a disaster. They talk a lot but do nothing. It’s not the kind of club everyone around the world fell in love with. Maybe there are too many wrong people in there who should be somewhere else.” And in the winter of 2020, Ibra went to save Milan personally. Then the team was in 11th place and lagged behind Inter and Juve by 21 points. In the next three seasons, the Swede broke a bunch of age records and scored 33 10 in Serie A (8 3 in 23 matches this season). The contribution of the striker to the revival of the team is difficult to overestimate. 

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