Tag Archives: Zlatan

Zlatan: 'Not the Milan it used to be'


Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic allegedly questioned the work of CEO Ivan Gazidis, who arrived at Milanello to announce the club’s intentions of cutting wages.

The club has reportedly decided to go through with Gazidis’ plan to reduce the salaries and work on the rebirth of the Diavolo.

Milan have simultaneously accepted the request made by the players five days ago, which means they receive 50 per cent of their salary for the month of April and the rest of the months will be paid in full.

But during the meeting, multiple reports in Italy claim Zlatan Ibrahimovic intervened and turned up the heat.

The Corriere dello Sport claims the 38-year-old questioned Gazidis absence in recent weeks, as the players haven’t seen the former Arsenal director since May 4 and pointed out that the timing was completely wrong.

“Why have you been away for so long and show up 48 hours before the semi-final?” Zlatan asked, according to Il Corriere dello Sport. He was referring to the big match in the Coppa Italia against Juventus on Friday.

The outlet claims the veteran continued to address other issues he has found problematic since his return in January and added: “It’s not the Milan it used to be, there’s too much uncertainty.”

The South African reportedly replied: “Yes, it’s true, Milan aren’t what they were in terms of success and finances.”

The newspaper writes that Gazidis then explained how the American owner plans the rebirth of Milan and confirmed the solidity of the Elliott fund, especially in a period of global crisis caused by the pandemic.

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Chiellini: 'Zlatan brought out the best in me'


Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini explained the differences between Antonio Conte, Max Allegri and Maurizio Sarri, and confessed facing Zlatan Ibrahimovic ‘brought out the best’ in him.

Serie A is set to resume, and the Bianconeri captain has returned to the fold after recovering from the serious injury at the start of the campaign.

Even at 35, he is as hungry as ever and claimed there’s an unwritten rule between defenders and attackers in football.

“In the end, it’s always a one-on-one, your death is my life,” he told Corriere dello Sport. “Call it what you want, but between the defender and the attacker, that’s how it is. If you are in acceptable range…”

Juventus sit first in Serie A and prepare to resume the Scudetto fight, as Sarri tries to follow his successful predecessors Conte and Allegri.

Chiellini explained that Conte ‘built the foundation’ that led to eight straight titles, whilst Allegri was the most ‘sensitive’ out of the three.

“With Conte, we started from scratch, we started from a very low base and built the foundations of the house,” the 35-year-old added. “Antonio is a person who, as I wrote [in the autobiography], who brings you to a different connection.

“He gives you a lot and demands a lot. Sometimes it exasperates you, but you’re with him till death. In my opinion, he created the compactness that was fundamental for Juve.

“Max is an aesthete. He is very bright, lighter, in the five years he has gown exponentially, he knows how to lower and raise the tone. He has a sensitivity that I haven’t found in many people, and I’m not just talking about coaches.

“Over the years, it has conquered and bewitched me.

“Sarri is more meticulous, therefore more similar to Conte than to Allegri, but with different principles and systems.

“He relies heavily on numbers, he is a lover of the game, of ball possession. He is a utopian and is the first to admit it, never satisfied, always pursuing perfection.”

Chiellini admitted he has struggled to keep out Cristiano Ronaldo but revealed Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been the opponent who brought the best out of him.

“Cristiano scored a lot of goals, but Ibra was the one who entered my heart,” the veteran defender confessed. “We were teammates at first, I was very young, I always tried to measure myself with him.

“I followed him everywhere, also to get credit from my teammates and the coach. Accepting a one-on-one with Ibra meant earning respect.”

“I never pulled back and I came out stronger and more convinced from every challenge with him, he brought out the best in me. I admire him a lot.”

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Calabria: 'Zlatan is an inspiration'


Milan full-back Davide Calabria praised Zlatan Ibrahimovic for ‘helping us a lot’ and claimed his contribution in training is an ‘inspiration’ to the younger players.

The veteran’s future at San Siro is still uncertain but the 38-year-old has helped lift the morale in Via Aldo Rossi since his return to Milan in January.

Calabria has experienced the Swede’s impact first-hand and explained to NBA player Danilo Gallinari on Instagram: “Milan is a demanding place.

“Ibrahimovic, who is a veteran, a leader with a lot of experience, helps us a lot. When you see that at 38, he still has so much desire, you can’t do anything but improve.

“Ibra always tries to keep his image, but inside the dressing room he makes people laugh, always jokes and we have a lot of fun.

“He always wants to do well and demands the best from everyone. At his age, he may already have stopped for some years, instead he is still here to work hard. He runs like a damned to always win, so for us young people, he’s an inspiration.

Calabria revealed that Stefano Pioli ‘demands’ the players speak Italian in the dressing room and has claimed Franck Kessie has the best physique in the League.

“We always try to speak in Italian, the coach demands it. We have many Spaniards in the squad who speak their language among them, but the coach asks them to speak Italian.

“When players come from abroad, of course, we speak in English, we adapt for a short while.

“The most physically dominant? I wouldn’t say [Cristiano] Ronaldo, but rather Franck [Kessie]. It’s truly absurd.

“He doesn’t work much in the gym but has a crazy physique. You can’t move him. You can run 50 yards to have a go, but you still bounce off him in the end.”

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Zlatan returns this week


Milan are reportedly expecting Zlatan Ibrahimovic to return this week to clarify the extent of his injury through a new medical check.

The Swede injured his calf in training last week and was allowed to return to his homeland and stay with his family until he could undergo further examinations to clarify the extent of the injury.

The club confirmed that the 38-year-old has injured the soleus muscle in the calf and last Tuesday scheduled a new test after 10 days.

Tuttosport writes he will return to Milan in the coming days, either on Wednesday or Thursday, before going through the needed tests to determine the recovery programme to get him back from injury in time for the run-in.

It’s not expected that Ibrahimovic will return in time for the second leg against Juventus in the Coppa Italia, whilst the first Serie A match after the resumption could also come too early for the 38-year-old.

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