Zlatan Ibrahimović is proving that age is just a number after retirement, showing off some silky football skills on the footvolley pitch, training with Swedish MMA Champions Khamzat Chimaev, challenging Roland-Garros champion Novak Djokovic to a match and even touring the iconic Ferrari garage before the Austrian Grand Prix.
Beckham, Ronaldinho, Xavi, R9, and now Zlatan. Only a few players ascend to an eternal god-like status after retiring from football. Some players stay in the game in management and coaching, others turn to media duties – some even buy football clubs. But just a month on from his emotional retirement from football aged 41, Zlatan’s next move is still to be decided.
The 41-year-old Swede is clearly enjoying some downtime after ending his second stint at Italian giants AC Milan in June. Zlatan announced his retirement from the game last month in front of his adoring Milano fans in Italy, calling time on his glittering playing career, in which he scored 405 goals, represented nine teams spanning 24 years, leaving an unparalleled football legacy that is certain to go unmatched.
Since hanging up his boots, Zlatan has been keeping busy, visiting major sporting events, training with elite athletes and even using his hard-earned downtime to embark on a new pastime, footvolley – a Brazilian beach game that mixes the disciplines of football and volleyball. Even in retirement, Zlatan is proving that form may be temporary, but class is permanent.
WATCH Zlatan shows off silky footvolley skills after retirement below.
Zlatan has still been keeping his passion for sport alive since announcing his retirement last month, seen training with one of Sweden’s greatest fighters Khamzat Chimaev posting to his Instagram with the caption “The Wolf does not perform in the circus.” Could we see Zlatan on a UFC fight card in the near future?
Zlatan’s also attending some of the biggest events of the global sporting calendar, spotted at Roland-Garros earlier this year, and again chilling in the Ferrari paddock with Charles Leclerc ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.
The former striker is well-known for his limitless confidence both on and off the pitch, and since retiring from professional football, he’s clearly not going to start taking it easy. Evidently inspired by Djokovic’s sensational Roland-Garros triumph, Zlatan was trying his hand at another elite sport, taking up the racket in Milan to challenge tennis’ most decorated player in history, with the caption: “Novak Djokovic, whenever you’re ready.”
Clearly nothing is going to slow down the self-proclaimed god even after injuries forced Zlatan to finish his illustrious football career – and if his recent activities are anything to go by, we could well be seeing the Swedish superstar embarking on another career in the near future.
Time will tell if that next career is as an MMA fighter, tennis player, footvolley athlete or F1 driver – or perhaps all three. He is Zlatan, after all.