Zlatan Ibrahimovic has extended his top-level career into his 40s by agreeing a new one-year contract with AC Milan. Announcing his new deal, a statement from Milan said: “AC Milan is the club for which Zlatan has played the most in Italy. After scoring 84 goals in 130 appearances with the Rossoneri, the Swedish striker will continue to be wearing the red and black jersey next season.”
Ibrahimovic, who turns 40 on Oct. 3, has proven to be a crucial figure in Milan’s revival this season under Stefano Pioli and has scored 17 goals in 25 games across all competitions. The veteran striker had enjoyed success throughout a career that spanned spells in Italy, Spain, France and England but his time at the top level of European sport seemed to be over when he left Manchester United for LA Galaxy in 2018.
However his return to Milan — who he had previously played for between 2010 and 2012 — on an initial six-month contract in December 2019 has proven to be an unqualified success with Ibrahimovic’s veteran influence greatly admired by a young squad determined to take their club back to the top of the Italian game.
“I was playing with him on the PS4,” Milan’s Portuguese striker Rafael Leao told CBS Sports earlier this season, “then I moved to Milan and I’m playing with him, training with him in real life. Every day with him is an opportunity to improve, I’m very proud and I’m trying to listen and getting better every day with him.”
Such has been Ibrahimovic’s resurgence with Milan that he was called into the Sweden squad for the first time in five years last month. Barring injury he is expected to feature at this summer’s European Championships nearly 20 years after his international debut.