Toon and Sweden ace Isak delivers heartfelt message to retiring heroToon and Sweden ace Isak delivers heartfelt message to retiring hero
Alexander Isak has paid a special tribute to countryman Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the iconic star announced his retirement from football.
At the ripe old age of 41, Ibrahimovic has called time on an incredible career spanning almost 1000 professional games for club and country over a 24-year period.
Newcastle United star Isak, who has played alongside the legendary Swedish international for his country praised the impact of Ibrahimovic during a stellar career which saw him play for some of the biggest clubs in the world, including AC Milan, Barcelona, Juventus, Ajax and Inter Milan, as well as Manchester United and LA Galaxy.
“Thank you for everything you have done for the football world,” Isak wrote on Instagram, alongside a picture of the pair on the pitch together in action for Sweden.
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“The first time I arrived you gave me happiness, the second time, you gave me love. I want to thank my family and those close to me for their patience,” the Swede said at the San Siro on Sunday after being given a guard of honour by the Rossoneri players after their final day 3-1 win over Verona.
“I want to thank my second family. The players, the coach and his staff for the responsibility they gave me. I want to thank the directors for the opportunity they gave me.
“Last but not least, from my heart, I want to thank you, fans. You welcomed me with open arms and I will be a Milanista my entire life. It’s time to say goodbye to football, but not to you. It’s too difficult, there are too many emotions. I’ll see you around if you are lucky. Forza Milan and goodbye.”
Ibrahimovic helped Milan lift the Serie A trophy in 2011 and 2022 but this season has been blighted by injury with him able to make just four appearances, his last coming in March when he scored in a 3-1 defeat to Udinese.
During a career that started in 1999 at Malmo, Sweden’s record goalscorer has never played a competitive game on the hallowed turf of St James’ Park, with his only appearance against the Toon Army coming for Manchester United at Old Trafford in 2017.