GdS: Mercato, Pioli’s future and more – Ibrahimovic’s wide range of influence at Milan

By Oliver Fisher -

Many had doubts about how much Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be able to have a say in the way that AC Milan are run, but it has become apparent that he actually has a large influence.

As La Gazzetta dello Sport reports this morning, Ibrahimovic was assigned a tailor-made role, without well-defined boundaries, to have wide, practically boundless margins for manoeuvre.

What to some might have seemed like a simple marketing move in reality hid a precise choice of ownership, which effectively decided to entrust the command of operations related to the technical-sporting area to the Swede.

Ibrahimovic is not just the bridge between the team and the owners, he is not just the coach’s interlocutor, he is not just a champion who puts his experience at the service of the group.

He is all this but also and above all much more: he is and will be, for example, at the forefront regarding the future of the head coach. Stefano Pioli, with whom Zlatan himself contributed to bringing Milan back to winning the Scudetto after eleven years of waiting, is at risk.

The esteem between the two is known but now Ibrahimovic will have to think as a director would and his opinion, in Cardinale’s eyes, will count more than the others.

Zlatan spoke to the Financial Times yesterday alongside Cardinale and he revealed a bit of the background on his return to Milan after retiring from football in June.

“Gerry made me an offer that I couldn’t refuse. He gave me chances that open doors in different worlds and I’m ambitious. Milan is now my main focus, I know it well,” he said.

“You win with hard work, we have a great group and we will try to put together Gerry’s vision and that of Italian football, which I don’t think is at a standstill but in which I think something new needs to happen.

“My relationship with the team? Eight months ago they were the my team-mates: there is enormous respect between us. But in my current role you have to make difficult decisions, think about the club and its future: it’s different.

“I have a great relationship with them, they are doing well, they are young, hungry and have desire to win. The team is growing, the management around the team is growing and we try to bring out the best. There are different heads and opinions. But this is how it has to be.”

In recent months Ibra has publicly divided his time between Milanello and the stadium. He is often present at training and in the stands, he goes on away trips with the group and holds discussions in the dressing rooms.

Behind the scenes, however, Ibra’s presence is even more massive: the former striker is involved in the daily work at Casa Milan from numerous areas of the club, and is already a point of reference for the transfer market, and even the stadium.

“San Siro? I think I’ll miss it more… I blew it up and not many people do it. I have great memories, it’s a historic stadium, but we need a new beginning We want a new stadium and to own it,” he added.


Tags AC Milan Zlatan Ibrahimovic
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