SERIE A – Free from any contract since the end of his American adventure, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has decided to return to AC Milan. This arrival delights the tifosi rossoneri, but leaves a question: on the pitch, what can really bring the 38-year-old Swedish giant to the Lombard club?
This part of the mission will be carried out safely by the giant, who will also bring his sense of purpose, intact, to an attack he has struggled to see in the first part of the season with only 16 goals scored in 17 days. But what about the rest? After a serious knee injury in 2017 with Manchester United and two seasons to beat without much danger on the turf of the North American Championship, MLS, the former Parisian, at 38, still has the aptitude to make an impact on Serie A?
The former barcelona player himself made clear, with finishes, what he thought of the American championship: “MLS is not at the European level. I’m like a Ferrari in the middle of Fiat”, explained, adding shortly before the end of his contract with Los Angeles that once he left, “Everyone would forget what MLS is”.
In Italy, the swede will find defenders who, technically and tactically, evolve on a planet other than mlS, and who will have the weapons to make you pay their age. But Stefano Pioli, Milan’s coach, isn’t worried. “He knows how to do everything. You can score, you can score your teammates, you know how to move in the area and you will be the benchmark of our offensive sector”said in an interview with the Corriere della Sera.
You’ll have to, because if Ibra is no longer the same, neither is Milan. The team that left in 2012 was Gattuso, Inzaghi, Pato, Zambrotta, Seedorf or Thiago Silva. The one that joins is perhaps the weakest with which it has evolved in Europe, apart from its debut in Malmo.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic 2012 im Trikot by AC MailandGetty Images
In any case, the club has made a strong statement about Zlatan’s arrival, which has aroused great enthusiasm as fans will be close to 60,000 on Monday in San Siro to see their possible debut against Sampdoria.
The recruitment of the former Mancunian has also allowed management to forget for a time a difficult transgaming.orgs policy to read for years, with a litany of discarded coaches (Inzaghi, Seedorf, Mihajlovic, Gattuso, Giampaolo, Brocchi, Montella…) and failed or dubious transfers (Bonucci, Piatek, Higuain, Calhanoglu, Rodriguez, Leao…).
At Ibrahimovic’s presentation, Zvonimir Boban, who became the club’s coach in June 2019, admitted that the swede transfer did not solve everything. “I wouldn’t like to forget Bergamo and this horrible and unacceptable defeat (5-0 against Atalanta, just before halftime). We must not hide behind the broad shoulders of Zlatan”said the Croatian.
On these famous shoulders, Ibrahimovic chose to wear the number 21 jersey. Twenty-one, as well as the number of points separating AC Milan from the two leaders, Juventus and Inter from Milan.