Zlatan Ibrahimovic hospitalised former teammate Materazzi as retired striker recalls incident
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Zlatan Ibrahimovic will go down as a legend in football, not just for his quality on the pitch but his separate antics both on and off of it too.
The 41-year-old announced that he will be hanging up his boots this summer after his contract at AC Milan expires later this month.
In his third stint, the Swede managed to help the Rossonneri win their first Scudetto for 11 years. However, one of his most memorable moments in a Milan shirt undoubtedly came in the 2010 Milan Derby.
When coming up against former teammate Marco Materazzi, the striker produced a kung-fu kick and a flying elbow in the Italian's face, who was subsequently sent to hospital.
Back in 2019, Ibrahimovic was asked about the incident, with the Daily Mail quoting the striker to have said to GQ Magazine: "Materazzi entered a challenge like an assassin and hurt me. He was a tough football player, that's OK.
"But there's two ways to be tough, one of them is aiming to hurt you. Even [Paolo] Maldini was tough, but with a different objective.
"It was Juventus-Inter in 2006 and after the foul I had to leave the pitch for a moment and [coach Fabio] Capello said: 'I'll substitute you'. I said: 'no, I'll go on.'
"I wanted to return to the pitch to get my revenge on Matrix. If someone does that to me, I won't forget about it. But after two minutes, I'm in too much pain to go on. I can't play. Then I go to Inter, Barcelona, Milan…
"In the first game, the 2010-11 derby, they were all against me. OK, this motivates me. But, if you don't have any control, it's not good. You'll lose your head and do something stupid. I got a penalty, and who fouled me? Materazzi. 1-0 Milan.
"In the second half, Matrix is coming at me and I hit him with a taekwondo move, I sent him to the hospital. [Dejan] Stankovic asked me: 'Why did you do that?' And I replied to him: 'I have been waiting for this moment for four years. That's why.'
"Then I left. What goes around comes around."
What is next for Ibrahimovic is still unknown but what is sure is that football will certainly miss his blockbuster moments both on and off the pitch.