They say that the show has to end one day, that the curtain always must come down. For Zlatan Ibrahimovic, though, the last several years have been decried as one too many by his critics. Each year, though, the talismanic Swede manages to come back and show everyone why he is still regarded as one of the best forwards of his generation. Even as he approaches the end of a contract that would comfortably see him into his 40s, Milan show no signs of willingness to let their legendary striker retire.
Despite being out of contract in the summer, and having serious injury problems this year, his presence and his intermittent gametime has seen Milan desperate to keep him around for a little longer yet. Indeed, Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis recently admitted in an interview with Calciomercato.com that he would love to extend the player for another year at least.
While it might seem odd to outsiders for Milan not to move on from such a veteran, his return to the team was a catalyst for Milan’s current rebirth. He added a winning desire and a veterans edge to what was, at the time, a rather young and inexperienced side.
What did Ivan Gazidis say about extending Zlatan Ibrahimovic?
In an interview about the topic, Gazidis said: “Zlatan knows that every year that goes by, he needs to develop his game to continue to be performing at this level. I hope that, whenever the time will come, he will end his playing days at Milan.”
There had been hopes in the past that Zlatan would return to his home nation, Sweden, as many former international have. However, the Swede made clear that he intends to go out playing at the highest level. To have returned from what many seen as semi-retirement in MLS with the LA Galaxy to playing at such a high level in a competitive Serie A was seen as a huge accomplishment.
According to Gazidis, though, the show could go on for another while yet. Continuing on the same topic, the former Arsenal man said: “We have a special story with Zlatan. He has really given something back to the team and these young players who are growing at the club. Zlatan knows that every year that goes by, he needs to develop his game to continue to be performing at this level.
“I hope that, whenever the time will come, he will end his playing days at Milan. We have a special story with Zlatan. He has really given something back to the team and these young players who are growing at the club.”
So, for Milan, it looks like they will still be happy to make roster space for a player who is approaching the point of no return. Given his already stellar contribution to life in Milan, though, it should come as no surprise. This is the second time that he has joined Milan to turn them into a winning machine – why not, then, continue for one more year?