Zlatan Ibrahimovic Keen on Ajax Director Role When He Retires

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2019

CARSON, CA - JULY 12: Zlatan Ibrahimovic #9 of Los Angeles Galaxy during the Los Angeles Galaxy's MLS match against San Jose Earthquakes at the Dignity Health Sports Park on July 12, 2019 in Carson, California. San Jose won the match 3-1 (Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images)
Shaun Clark/Getty Images

L.A. Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has suggested he could return to former club Ajax as a director when he retires from playing.

The 37-year-old played for the Dutch club early in his career, from 2001 to 2004.

He told De Telegraaf (h/t AS):

"Normally I don't return to clubs where I have already played, but maybe after my career I can become a director at Ajax. Then I would do a better job than anyone who is sitting there now.

"Ajax is still my club in the Netherlands and I am proud to have been part of it, especially when I see how they present themselves in Europe.

"They have done what nobody expected and produce players that they are used to producing. It's wonderful to see."

Ajax were the first club Ibrahimovic played for outside of his native Sweden. He joined them for Malmo and netted 48 times in 110 appearances before signing for Juventus.

The Dutch side were a European giant who won three consecutive European Cups from 1971 to 1973, and they won the competition again in the UEFA Champions League format in 1995.

However, the club were left behind by the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and the elite of the Premier League as they lacked the revenue to compete.

Last season, though, Ajax won the Eredivisie and enjoyed a stunning run to the Champions League semi-final, knocking out three-times holders Real Madrid and Juventus along the way (U.S. only):

Football writer Joel Rabinowitz was among many swept up in their incredible revival:

Dutch football writer Sjors van Veen reserved praise for Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars and CEO Edwin van der Sar:

Ibrahimovic has won 11 top-division league titles in five different countries, among many other honours, and like Overmars and Van der Sar, he has prior experience of playing for Ajax.

Given the resources available to Ajax in comparison to their European rivals, it's difficult to realistically do much better than they already have.  

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