zlatan Ibrhimovic savours heroes reception

Sweden’s Great Ibrahimovic Battles Tears At Hero’s Reception

1 week ago
1 min read

Eleven-time Ballon d’Or nominee, and 12-time Sweden footballer of the year, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, fought back tears at the weekend as his country men and women paid a touching tribute to their nation’s greatest-ever player.

Though Jon Dahl Tommasson led Sweden were beaten 3-0 by Serbia in a friendly just before the event, it didn’t dampen the heartwarming reception for the former striker, who called time on his career last June.

After walking out on the pitch through a guard of honour, the 42-year-old took to a podium in the centre and was visibly emotional as more than 45,000 fans serenaded their icon.

In a video that appeared on X, Zlatan joked with the crowd and said: ‘I see that you have missed me…even on the field. I’ve missed you, too.’

Ibrahimovic was recognised for his contribution to the national team, an international career that spanned 22 years in which he amassed 122 caps and scored 62 goals.

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The former striker addressed supporters in the stadium, thanking them for their support and encouraging the younger generations to never give up, using his journey as inspiration.

He was also shown a film of the many highlights of his career and presented with a jersey, marked with his number of appearances. Ibrahimovic is a 12-time Sweden Footballer of the Year award winner.

It’s not the first time fans have been hit with the softer side of a man, who was known for his exceptional confidence and bravado during his playing days.

Last June, he made a similar emotional farewell to AC Milan fans, when he announced his retirement, having been plagued by knee injuries in the latter years of his career.

The evening had begun in less than ideal circumstances, with the home side on the end of a defeat, thanks to goals from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, former Fulham striker ,Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Tadic.

Serbia made the most of their 36 per cent ball possession and only five shots on target to head into their European Championships clash against England on June 16, in confident fashion.

Ibrahimovic played for nine different clubs, including PSG, Juventus and Barcelona in the course of his career, scoring combined 405 goals in 637 appearances.

 

 

 

Julius Okorie is Chief Sports and Entertainment Correspondent for Prime Business Africa. He began his journalism career with the Champion Newspaper and Sporting Champion and later moved on to Daily Independent and the Nation Newspapers. Okorie joined Prime Business Africa in 2024 bringing on board 20 years of experience in writing investigative news on Sports and Entertainment. His well researched and highly informative articles on Sports Business and general entertainment are followed by a wide range of audience.

Julius Okorie is Chief Sports and Entertainment Correspondent for Prime Business Africa. He began his journalism career with the Champion Newspaper and Sporting Champion and later moved on to Daily Independent and the Nation Newspapers. Okorie joined Prime Business Africa in 2024 bringing on board 20 years of experience in writing investigative news on Sports and Entertainment. His well researched and highly informative articles on Sports Business and general entertainment are followed by a wide range of audience.

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