There will always be fault with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s career. Including on his contribution to what could be the last title of his long career, namely a new Italian champion crown on Sunday. At 40 and without all his legs, the Swede has still managed to remain influential by becoming less essential. In Milan, Rafael Leão was the man of the season and Olivier Giroud that of the coronation. Difficult, however, not to consider the importance of Zlatan in this return of the Lombard club to the top of Italian football, 11 years later. A time exiled in MLS, where we imagined him to end his career, the former PSG star had bet to return to his favorite club. Serie A Scenes of jubilation in Milan to celebrate the Scudetto arrived, a journalist told me that normally players who return can only do worse, he told DAZN on Sunday. I responded by promising that I would bring Milan back to the Top and that we would win the Scudetto. Some laughed but there, I am champion.” As soon as he returned to the locker room, Ibra had shaken up a team in distress and fell into the soft underbelly of Serie A. “Hands up, those who have already played the Champions League “, he had swung to his teammates, according to an anecdote told by Luigi Garlando, journalist of the Gazzetta. There were only two who could answer in the affirmative… timidly: Hakan Calhanoglu and Ciprian Tatarusanu. Ibrahimovic, beacon for his “children” The Swede did not need that anyway to know that AC Milan no longer had the same weapons as at the time of his first visit, where he rubbed shoulders with players of international stature, from Pirlo to Ronaldinho, from Seedorf to Inzaghi. So he adapted. “He is the beacon of this team, confided his coach Stefano Pioli last April. His will is indomitable.” Giroud, farewell to the Blues? “He will only return thanks to an injury to Benzema”Suffering more and more regularly from the weight of age and an exceptional morphology (1.95m, 95kg), while a serious injury in the knee could have already ended his career in 2017, the attacker took on a role with which he did not seem compatible on the surface. “I see, when they look at me, they expect something from me, he smiled. I want to give so much, I want to be a guide. They are like my children.” greatly helped Rafael Leão to refocus, to whom he had reproached his dilettantism a year and a half ago. The Portuguese learned alongside the Swedish giant and his rigor. “From my first training, Zlatan came to tell me: ‘I will help you, with me you will win. Ask me what you want’, remembered the winger in an interview with L’Equipe in February 2020. He’s a big brother to me. Sometimes he gets angry but if someone wants to help you, he’s not always going to tell you things with a smile.”The head and the legs”He pushes even further the requirement”, abounded Olivier Giroud, who nevertheless knew the appetite of the biggest English clubs. First stint for Stefano Pioli, Zlatan also kept an influence on the pitch, with 8 goals and 3 assists in 23 Serie A matches. What made him want to extend the adventure? Not sure, since the will alone might not be enough. “I suffered a lot for this trophy, he confessed. It depends on what will happen in the coming days.” More and more physically fragile, the striker also dreads life after: “I know that I will have other possibilities, he underlined last March. But this adrenaline that I have on the lawn, I do not will find nowhere else.” At the end of the contract, Zlatan should quickly discuss with the Milanese discussion. For the first time, without his agent Mino Raiola, who died on April 30, to whom he was extremely close. And to which he dedicated the 34th title of his career: “It’s the first trophy I’ve won without him.” (With AFP) Zlatan Ibrahimovic with the Italian champion trophy won with AC Milan on May 22 2022Credit: Getty ImagesSerie ASnobed by the Blues, heroes of Milan: a week at the Giroud14 HOURS AGOSerie AEleven years later, Milan is back at the top18 HOURS AGO
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