Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a big lover of the spotlight, and tonight against Roma he will take centre stage again amid a wave of media attention.
As Calciomercato.com reports, Milan will have three games in seven days against Roma, Udinese and Verona, and Ibra begins his appearances at the Sanremo Festival next week, a choice that has caused discussion and fuelled criticism.
The controversies, pressure and adrenaline are exactly what fuels the Swede. Massimo Ambrosini, his former team-mate and captain, said back in 2011: “In these situations of confusion he feels at ease. In my opinion he will be able to do something more in the next matches.”
Pioli echoed this in the pre-match press conference: “He expects a lot from himself and from his team-mates, he is motivated and serene, he is focused on tomorrow’s match as we all are.”
There is also a mini-crisis to solve at Milan too as the team haven’t scored a goal from open play in their last four games across all competitions and have lost their last two in the league.
There is criticism being levelled at the team but also at Zlatan who has failed to make a mark in his last few outings. At Juve he was surrounded by Buffon, Cannavaro, Nedved and Del Piero; at Inter by Julio Cesar, Cordoba, Materazzi, Samuel, Zanetti, Cambiasso and Stankovic; at Barcelona there were Dani Alves, Puyol, Iniesta, Xavi and Henry, and at Milan Nesta, Ambrosini, Gattuso, Seedorf and Inzaghi.
There was David Luiz, Thiago Silva and Cavani at PSG, Carrick and Rooney at Manchester United among others, but now it’s up to him to take Milan by the hand.