GdS: 100 days of Ibra – what he did, what he didn’t do and what he will do

By Oliver Fisher -

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has now completed his first 100 days as a Senior Advisor to RedBird Capital, a role in which he of course works very closely with AC Milan.

As La Gazzetta dello Sport write in their ‘100 days of Ibra’ article, his appointment was back on 11 December 2023 and it has been an intriguing period for the former striker, who is having to get used to life away from the pitch.

The dark part

The paper likens Zlatan’s new adventure to being on the ‘dark side of the moon’, because he has had to approach his new position with care and calm given that it is so different to what he has known over the past two decades.

Much of the work happens behind the scenes and there are new mechanisms for him to learn. It’s one thing to arrive at Milanello and slip into the changing rooms to prepare for training, it’s another to stop in the clubhouse to talk about strategies with Geoffrey Moncada and then on the sidelines to observe your former team-mates without being able to get involved.

Zlatan’s possible regrets are only ideological, though. He was the first to know a year ago that his body was definitively telling him to bring the curtain down on an incredible career. He felt too much pain, and it was too much effort to manage it.

RedBird Capital’s main man Gerry Cardinale then stepped in to offer a chance to bring him back to the club he loves so much because as he said, he and Zlatan speak the same language in business.

Gerry’s investiture

For Zlatan the turning point – more public than actual – was the Financial Times ‘Business of football summit’ in London at the end of February. You can read his comments in full.

The pair sat down to discuss football, projects and Milan, while Cardinale effectively gave him a global investiture, clarifying without any grey areas what Ibra represents for him.

“I relied on Zlatan to gather opinions, perspectives and advice on the idea of ​​change on the pitch. He allows me to live in the USA but to be in Milan, because he has the authority to speak on my behalf with anyone at Milan, and he does it with legitimacy and credibility. I don’t want to enter the locker room and talk to the players, I want Ibra to do it for me,” Cardinale said.

There were many, initially, who had difficulty identifying what the Swede would be called upon to do concretely in his second life as a man in a suit. The role of ‘consultant’ is quite vague, but it contains a lot.

From Sanremo to the Arabian GP

Ibra proved to be at ease on the stage next to Cardinale, just as he obviously proves to be at ease when the pitch is involved. He is present at Milanello during training (certainly not always) and close to the team when they travel away from home, perhaps with a foot and a half inside the dressing room to give some last-minute advice.

Anyone who has the opportunity to observe him at work describes him with four adjectives: humble, curious, meticulous, enthusiastic. Ibra is the one who, to follow the Diavolo, one time flies with the CEO Giorgio Furlani and the next time he gets on the bus with the players.

He is the one who calmed Mike Maignan in Udinese, preventing the goalkeeper from losing his head after the racist insults, while he also spoke twice publicly to support Stefano Pioli, opening an umbrella over his head amid the rumours about his future.

This year’s participation in Sanremo Music Festival was a media success exactly like that of three years ago and also his presence at the Arabian GP obviously did not go unnoticed. Some even observed that the Swede could have been there to carry out business discussions on behalf of RedBird and Milan too.

The latest rumours have suggested that he is pushing to bring Jovan Kirovski to the club to be the manager of the U23 team that the club are hoping to launch last summer. He is someone Ibra met during his LA Galaxy days.

In recent days Zlatan also received the Tapiro d’Oro due to the investigation into the Rossoneri ownership. He handled it his way, impeccably. First joking: “I am the owner of Milan, but it’s a secret.”

Then seriously: “There was a check, but they didn’t find anything. The owner of Milan is RedBird.” He is the super consultant of both of them. For the first 100 days this may be enough.


Tags AC Milan Zlatan Ibrahimovic

1 Comment

  1. Ibra has always been a mercenary.
    He is a capable man no doubt, but where his motivations lie are not of a Milanista.

    He has always followed the money

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