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Ibrahimovic: ‘I want to play as long as a I can’

Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he wants to continue playing football for as long as he can: ‘The future is yet to be written.’  The 40-year-old has just returned from a spell on the sidelines following an injury, but insists he wants to keep going. Speaking to UEFA, the veteran discussed his career and plans for the future.

Whatever happens to me – success, money, fame, whatever – I will still be the same person. I will not change. Either you like me or you don’t like me, but I was not born into this world to convince people to like me.

I play with a lot of emotion for Milan because it’s a club that gave me happiness, it gave me a lot of things, and I think I’ve spent the most years at Milan out of all the clubs I’ve represented. It was nice to return to the UEFA Champions League with the club this season.

After a couple of years struggling and not being in the Champions League, everybody was super excited and super happy to be back.

I think it’s an amazing tournament. I scored a couple of goals that I enjoyed, and I got the opportunity to play against the best teams and players in Europe. How do I feel about the fact that I never won it?

In two ways. To win it would be amazing. To not win it would not change me as a player. If I win it, it doesn’t mean that I’d be a better player because I am the best player. This has been proven; the best player doesn’t win everything.

The future is yet to be written. I don’t plan. Let’s see what happens. I don’t want to regret stopping football and then saying that I could continue to play football because then I’d regret it for the rest of my life, seeing that I could have continued.

I want to play as long as I can. The reality is I’ll play until I see that someone is better than me, so I’m still playing.

I know one day it will stop, and I won’t have that adrenaline anymore. This is a problem for every football player because you have adrenaline when you play football. That adrenaline, you will never get in doing something else because we are programmed. Every day we do the same thing.

We wake up, we prepare, we train, we eat, and we rest. The next day, it’s the same thing. For 20 years, you do these things, and you get adrenaline from them.

So when suddenly you stop, you don’t have this agenda, you don’t get the adrenaline anymore. And when it stops, you have to take it from there and begin from zero and start something new.”

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Serie A obsessive, lover of 90's Italian defenders, bourbon and wide open highways.