Former AC Milan full-back Igazio Abate, who now manages the Rossoneri’s youth setup at the U16 level, has provided his thoughts on his former team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Speaking on Twitch (Via MilanNews), the former versatile defender drew light upon the personality of the experienced Swede, who is now the oldest player at San Siro.
“I expected him to be overbearing? Definitely. He has poison in him, I think this is his real secret. He wants to prove every day that he is number one. I see him often,” he said.
The duo were together for quite a while together in Milan and the Rossoneri youth product believes the veteran is an example to follow as a professional.
“When he was out, I think he was an example for everyone: arriving at Milanello at half past eight in the morning and leaving at seven in the evening I think it makes the antennae a little more upright in the younger ones, so that they understand a bit what it takes to stay at certain levels for many years.
“That is the hardest thing, not to get there but to stay there for many years. It involves a certain lifestyle, ambition, wickedness and a certain mentality which is the Milan mentality.”
He has suffered from injuries this season, restricting himself to five appearances for the Rossoneri across all competitions, but he has already scored twice. Ibrahimovic is still playing at the highest levels, after turning 40 earlier in October, and it remains to be seen what the future holds for the Swede beyond the end of the season.