Zlatan Ibrahimovic has kept breaking the boundaries of age after his recent return to European football from MLS as he signed for his former side AC Milan during the 2020 January transfer and has pushed Milan back to the top of the Serie A summit.
Ibrahimovic is 39 and that has not stopped him from firing all cylinders at San Siro scoring 11 goals in his first 6 months at the club and now 16 goals in all competitions coupled with 2 assists.
Zlatan has numerous trophies since the start of his career in 1999 with the Malmo FF U-19 squad before moving to Ajaz in Netherland for a fee of 8M Euros.
The 6 ft 5 inches Swedish striker was known for his aerial prowess in opposition half using his gigantic stature as cover from even most ruthless defenders.
He completed his 500th goal at the age of 39 on Sunday against Crotone as he pushed AC Milan back to the top of the Serie A summit with yet a second to make it 501st club career goal.
Zlatan was brought back to Europe after conquering the MLS with over 40 goals -- proving that age is just a number.
ZLATAN'S CLUB CAREER
He is one of the most decorated active footballers in the world, having won 31 trophies in his career. He has played across in 4 of Europe's top 5 leagues - Spain, Italy, France and England, including Eredivisie.
One would have thought his career has taken the final showpiece when he left for LA Galaxy from Manchester United managing to win Europa League, EFL Cup and FA Community shield.
Most of his career could be read online but one outstanding thing about Ibra is his towering presence in the present AC Milan.
His adaptation, movement, and positioning has given him the opportunity to score 14 goals, 2 behind Ronaldo in the Serie A golden boot race.
For someone who has played in all top leagues with top teams such as Barcelona, PSG, Manchester United, Juventus -- he is not ageing.
Milan started their return to the summit of European football before the return of Zlatan after the recent backing of a Chinese investment management company Sino-Europe Sports Investment Management Changxing Co., which Fininvest sold 99.93% stake of Milan for about €520 million, plus the refurbishment of the club financial debt of €220 million.
Milan qualified for the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League group stage after finishing 6th in the 2017–18 Serie A season but were banned by UEFA from European competition due to violations of Financial Fair Play regulations for failure to break-even.
In January 2020, when the winter transfer window was opened Ibrahimović returned to Milan on a free transfer on a six-month contract.
This deal was just a 6-month contract until the end of the season, with an option to extend his contract but with several conditions.
It happens the conditions were met as the Serie A outfit did extend Ibra's contract will 2021 at 38.
He made his first appearance since his return to the club on the 6th of January 2020, coming on as a substitute in a 0–0 Serie A home draw against Sampdoria at the San Siro.
Ibrahimović scored his first goal for Milan since returning on 11 January, in a 2–0 away win against Cagliari ending 3 games winless return for Milan.
With the help of Ibrahimovic, Milan went on a 40-match unbeaten run excluding the penalty loss to Juventus in the Coppa Italia quarterfinals extending from 2019-20 into 2020-21 season, ironically ending with a 1-3 home loss to Juventus.
Since then it has been an avalanche to defenders across the 19 teams of the Serie A taking them on with his towering presence.
The 2019-20 season ended with Milan managing to finish in 6th on the log as they qualify for the Europa League play-offs and now they play in the Europa League last 32 for the 2020-21 season.
In the 2019-20 season, Zlatan scored 11 goals, 5 assists with 3 yellow cards for the San Siro camp in all competitions. It seemed it was just a tip of the iceberg as he has bettered that return with 16 goals, 2 assists in all competition for the 2020-21 season.
Some critics of the Swedish player would say he is not scoring as he did during his early days as his 24 goals so far for Milan since 2020 January one of the fewest goals in his goal-laden career.
But when the increasing 24 goals are compared to his returns at Manchester United, Barcelona, his first loan spell at AC Milan and Juventus, his present tally beats that down.
When is now done at 39, just like Zlatan would say, "no one can do that if not Zlatan",