Background, role and responsibilities: Everything we know about Ibrahimovic’s return

By Oliver Fisher -

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is ready to return to AC Milan for a third spell at the club, but this time he will be bringing a briefcase with him rather than his boots.

As per widespread reports, Milan have found total agreement for the Swede’s return which will be officially announced potentially as early next week. Ibrahimovic’s role will be that of a ‘super consultant’ to president Gerry Cardinale, which is a hybrid between the roles of being a general director in the technical area and a commercial figure linked to RedBird Capital.

Ibrahimovic will not have a specific role within the organisational chart, it has been confirmed to us. The 42-year-old will assist the management team led by Antonio D’Ottavio and Geoffrey Moncada, also having a say on the transfer front, team management and commercial and communication strategies.

Read also: Is Ibrahimovic’s return really that necessary?

Ibrahimovic, who celebrated his first birthday without football last October, decided to hang up his boots at the end of last season. His second spell at Milan culminated in winning the Scudetto in the 2021-22 season, his fourth league title in an illustrious career after those with Inter, Barcelona and Paris Saint Germain.

The Swede left football playing with 571 goals in 1000 matches for club and country, becoming one of the greatest strikers in history. Now, however, he wants to write a new chapter in his legend, this time as a collaborator.

How Cardinale convinced him

Ibrahimovic’s return to Milan was strongly endorsed by Cardinale , the number one of RedBird Capital, the American fund that took over the Rossoneri club in 2022. Cardinale has always appreciated Ibrahimovic’s charisma, personality and competence, which he considers a value added for the Rossoneri project.

The Swede, in fact, will not just be a representative figure, but a real man of trust for the president, who will be able to count on his experience and his vision of football. Ibrahimovic will have an active and decisive role in the Milan transfer market, both incoming and outgoing, in agreement with D’Ottavio and Moncada of course.

Furthermore, he will have the task of identifying and promoting young talents, both from the first team and from the youth sector, following his motto: “Give space to young people, but only if they deserve it.”

The glue between Milanello and Casa Milan

Ibrahimovic will also be a point of reference for the team and for coach Stefano Pioli, with whom he has already worked well in recent years. The former Manchester United and PSG forward will be a sort of intermediary between the pitch and the management, capable of transmitting his winning mentality, his determination and his leadership to the players.

Furthermore, Zlatan will be a privileged interlocutor for the media, both Italian and international, contributing to strengthening the image and reputation of Milan in the world. It is a figure similar to that of Maldini but more closely linked to RedBird, and without an official position like technical director.

Ibrahimovic, therefore, is ready to start his new challenge at Milan, with the aim of bringing the Rossoneri club back to the top of European football. The Swede, who has already won 33 trophies in his career, has already demonstrated his enthusiasm with an ‘enigmatic’ tweet in which, simulating the sound of the hands of a clock, he is preparing to announce his return to Milan.

The idea of ​​having Ibra back at the club excites those connected with the club across the board from Pioli to CEO Giorgio Furlani, who on Tuesday before the PSG game commented as follows: “I would be happy to be able to work with Ibrahimovic again, he is a number one.”

Paolo Scaroni, president of the club, also expressed happiness at Zlatan’s imminent return to Milan: “The door is open for him. And, most importantly, Pioli is also in favor: after two and a half years together, he knows well how much the Swede could dare in terms of motivations.”

Agreement close but not imminent

According to what was stated by ANSA, an agreement is close between Ibrahimovic and Cardinale for the Swede’s involvement in a role that has not yet been communicated. The announcement, however, is not imminent.

Why is that? Well, as always the filing of the final details require some patience. Cardinale was present at San Siro for the Champions League match against PSG on Tuesday night and he met Ibrahimovic to define the modalities of the former striker’s involvement.

These were clearly very positive talks and the conclusion should lead to an announcement when all the details have been definitively perfected, as well as the necessary formalities.

Tags AC Milan Zlatan Ibrahimovic


  1. This is the role Cardinale offered to Maldini but he refused because he wanted more power and control over the transfer budget and the coaching choice.

  2. “Ibrahimovic will have an active and decisive role in the Milan transfer market, both incoming and outgoing, in agreement with D’Ottavio and Moncada of course.

    Furthermore, he will have the task of identifying and promoting young talents, both from the first team and from the youth sector”

    What????? How does this even make sense?? How is he going to promote youth players? Isn’t that up to the coach? How and why does he have a say on transfers? So if he has a decisive role in transfers and let’s say all of Furlani, Moncada and Pioli agree on it and he doesn’t then he can veto it? Is that correct? He’s decisive right? And how does this role in that aspect didfer from Maldini? Seems like it’s back to the same old as before….too many chefs in the transfer kitchen

  3. I see this development with good eyes. Ibra is a legend, a motivator, and a great former footballer who can indeed have a say on the quality of players being considered for transfer. Forza Ibra! Forza Milan! Enough negativity!

    1. Amen. Not sure how or why Ibra coming back is being spun into a negative by some people. This is the best news we’ve heard in a while.

  4. Feels like he is a coach for Cardinale on football and a coach for Pioli on how to handle players. Seems like Piolis weakness is handling stars. He doesn’t command respect. More of a softie

  5. Zlatan or any other Milan legend being part of the club is always a plus, but Milan also needs to hire experienced directors. Someone who has been around the game for a while and has the connections with agents, directors, intermediaries in the football world.
    Moncada is a great scout but he is new in the dealing and wheeling part of football.
    Furlani is business educated, a great negotiator and deal breaker but he is new in the world of football.
    Milan needs a person like Marotta at inter. Piero Ausilio at inter is one of the best talent evaluator and director in Italy but inter still brought Marotta to work with him.
    Maldini probably could have turned into a great director if he worked under someone experienced for 3,4,5 years and then take over. Instead he worked 1 year under the worst person to work with in Leonardo and then took over. We all saw that he was unqualified and inexperienced , not ready to hold such a position.
    We all need old heads around us who are 20,30 years ahead of us in life to advise us. Milan right now and for the last 5 years, only has young people in management.
    Bring someone like Ariedo Braida back to the club to work alongside Moncada, advise him, use his connections.
    Add some experience to the management team.

    1. Agreed though Boban and Maldini made a great combo. Boban after all is credited to Leao and our current defence Maldini. When Boban left the attacking department recruitment fell off. Leonardo wasn’t exactly the best at buying cheap lol but he did have contacts

  6. Camarda has the feel of Ibra (2.0). I hope that Ibra and Camarda work together to help him develop into the talent that he promises to be. The mind and attitude of a champion is not something that you can easily teach. There is an style of confidence that is needed to be a champion. Some people call it arrogance, other call it bravado. But it is an etheric quality that needs to be experienced to be understood. Ibra, Maldini, and Giroud are true champions that bring that help to foster the winning mentality worthy of AC Milan.

  7. Zlatan in a shirt to his peers was formidable. Zlatan in a suit will be downright terrifying. I can’t imagine players taking liberties

    1. 100 percent….to this

      u all will testify that AC milan’s resurgence in recent years which culminated in winning the seria A started from when ibra came on board fro his second stint..i believe he will transmit that seriousness to work, while still being a father, brother and mentor to the team especially the young ones trying to adapt..

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