Zlatan Ibrahimovic doesn't get a normal farewell. The standing ovation, the formality of play, an emotional speech; that's all for normal people. Zlatan goes out with a bang.
In his final game for Paris Saint-Germain, Zlatan did not bow out. Instead he chose to break a club record, get a part of the stadium named after him, score a goal and walk out of the ongoing game.
With the title long wrapped up and a French Cup final against bitter rivals Marseille to come a week later, the night was all about Ibrahimovic and his quest to break the 37-goal single season PSG record at the Parc des Princes.
Starting the game with 36 goals, the Swedish striker equalled the 1997-98 club record of Argentine Carlos Bianchi in the 18th minute with his 37th of the season. Zlatan then netted his record 38th a minute from time from Javier Pastore's cross to end a match-long quest that had looked set to frustrate him.
With the record in the bag, an emotional Zlatan walked back to the halfway line and called his kids to come on to the field. His children ran onto the pitch wearing PSG replica shirts bearing the names King and Legend on their backs -- a reference to Ibrahimovic's Friday tweet in announcing his departure: "I came like a king, left like a legend."
And Zlatan did leave like a legend, with his children by his side and the stadium drowned in thunderous applause. He was quickly substituted.
"I'm feeling very emotional. Today is a very special day after four years together winning lots of trophies," Zlatan said after the game.
"Thank you 'Ibracadabra', these four years will remain in my heart."
Zlatan said he hoped PSG would keep on winning, adding: "Without Ibra it's difficult, but it's possible!"
Zlatan, PSG's highest goalscorer, will also have a stand at Parc des Princes named after him. "We tried to do everything for him, because he deserves it. One thing that I forget to say during my speech was that we are going to name a stand in his name," PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi told Swedish media outlet SVT (per GFFN).
At 34, Zlatan still remains a sought-after striker among big European clubs, considering his devastating goal scoring abilities. The prolific striker is yet to play in the Premier League and there have been strong rumors linking him to Manchester United. Zlatan has also been linked to an AC Milan return and to the MLS.
In fact he said that he knows which club he is going, but will not say where at the moment.
Wherever Zlatan goes, he'll be arriving there as a king and a legend.
Watch the highlight of the game and Zlatan's exit here:
With inputs from AFP
Published Date: May 16, 2016 05:17 pm | Updated Date: May 16, 2016 05:19 pm