Getty Images

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is making his third comeback at AC Milan, and his first one since his retirement from the sport. After weeks of talks and rumors, the American investment firm RedBird Capital have announced the appointment of Ibrahimovic as an Operating Partner across its Sports and Media & Entertainment investment portfolio. On top of that, Ibra becomes a Senior Advisor to AC Milan ownership group.

Ibrahimovic retired from professional soccer last June, announcing his decision to the world after the last game of the season AC Milan in San Siro. Ibrahimovic won 34 trophies across his spells with Malmo, Ajax, Juventus, Inter, Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and the Los Angeles Galaxy. He played for AC Milan from 2010 to 2012 and from 2020 to 2023, winning two Serie A titles with the Rossoneri. 

As per the statement, Ibra will, "collaborate with RedBird's global investment team in supporting the firm's existing investment portfolio across sports, media and entertainment and help source and evaluate new investment opportunities for the firm, and will advise RedBird portfolio companies on commercial projects, digital content strategies and strategic brand building initiatives to extend their presence on a global basis". At AC Milan, Ibra will serve as a Senior Advisor to Ownership and will be close to the dressing room and to coach Stefano Pioli, who is currently under pressure considering the poor results of this first part of the season. 

Gerry Cardinale, RedBird owner, praised Zlatan on his return.

"I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with Zlatan in thinking through his post-playing career options. To have him play an active role in the future of the Club is indicative of our continued commitment to excellence both on and off the pitch, and I'm looking forward to working with him as a partner and colleague at both RedBird and AC Milan.

"The respect Zlatan commanded as a player, his global presence among fans of the sport, and his diverse skillset as an entrepreneur is a powerful combination for both AC Milan and RedBird. I'm thrilled for our fans, our players and coaching staff, and the rest of the Rossoneri community that we can formally welcome him back to the team once again."

Don't miss CBS Sports Golazo Network's Morning Footy, now in podcast form! Our crew brings you all the news, views, highlights and laughs you need to follow the Beautiful Game in every corner of the globe, every Monday-Friday all year long.

Ibrahimovic was his usual quotable self in the announcement. 

"I am extremely grateful to be joining both RedBird and AC Milan in these important and influential roles. RedBird has partnered with some of the greatest athletes, teams and business figures in the world to create businesses with meaning and impact. I look forward to contributing to their investing activities across their sports, media and entertainment properties. My love for the Rossoneri will never die, and the opportunity to be a part of its future in a meaningful way is something I could only have dreamed of.

"I am grateful to Gerry for making this opportunity available to me. I have greatly admired the commitment, passion and hard work RedBird and Senior Management have demonstrated since acquiring the Club. This is not a decision that I take lightly – it is one which is very important and personal to me and my family. I've thought long and hard about the first steps in my post-playing career, and I couldn't be more thrilled to start that journey as a member of RedBird and AC Milan. For me and my family, this is truly a homecoming with the cherished Club where I ended my playing career and am now starting my next chapter."