AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has hinted that he is getting bored of football and is already looking forward to the day he retires.
Ibrahimovic, who turned 30 on Monday, has enjoyed a glittering career and has won eight straight league titles in three different countries with five different clubs (including Juventus who had theirs stripped), but now says his focus is shifting away from the game.
“Football is no longer burning inside me like back in the old days,” Ibrahimovic said. “I did not think about anything else and sometimes I didn’t even go to school so that I could play. Now it is not like that, I’m interested in other things.”
“It even takes a great deal of effort for me to play football with my kids in the garden – I now leave it to the babysitter.”
The former Ajax, Juventus and Barcelona star has a contract with Milan that runs until 2015 but with his passion seemingly fading, Ibrahimovic has cast doubt over how long he will actually carry on playing.
“Today everything has become routine even though I still enjoy it, but you won’t see me playing with white hair and I won’t play on until the verge of destroying myself,” he said. ”I won’t be retiring soon, I’ll play on for a while, but I want to retire when I am still at the top. That might not happen, but that is my objective.”
His advancing years are also playing on the Sweden international’s mind and Ibrahimovic admits he is no longer capable of doing some of things he took for granted.
“With age you have to care for yourself more,” he said. “When I was young, if I felt any pain or had any problems then I could still shoot at goal from 40 metres away. That’s not the case today. I have to take great care in my warm up before even kicking a ball. I’m getting old.
“I’m not kidding about my situation. I hate to say it, but I don’t have the same determination as I had before and I enjoyed myself a lot more a few years ago.”