AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has insisted that he wants to play more minutes in the coming weeks and joked about Rafael Leao’s renewal.
Tonight was a memorable night for Ibrahimovic as he made his long-awaited return from injury in the 2-0 win against Atalanta, having undergone surgery to almost completely reconstruct his knee after the Scudetto win last May.
There was some doubt heading into the game about whether Pioli would give the Swede his first appearance of the season, but he chose to bring him on in the 74th minute in place of Olivier Giroud and the San Siro crowd gave him a very warm welcome.
Ibrahimovic was interviewed by DAZN after the victory against Atalanta to reflect on his return to action and the long recovery path leading up to it, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.
“Thanks to those who give me strength, adrenaline and motivation to continue. Without their help it is difficult. I feel good, then if we look back it has been a year and two months since I felt like I feel today. Today I felt free to do what I love: play football,” he said.
On the suffering to get to this point: “If I have to explain everything, I have to stay here for hours. I suffered a lot, even in the last six months of last year. I wanted to help and I couldn’t stay on the pitch. When you’re not well, it’s difficult to help the team, then I could do six months earlier but I noticed that it was our year to win the Scudetto.
“Then I made a promise to Pioli not to have the surgery, but I’ve never suffered so much for a trophy. Then it was a difficult year, even with Mino [Raiola, his agent who passed away]. A lot of people help me and give me strength, and when I’m fine I’m stronger than everyone. And I’m serious, Ambro.”
On his contribution: “I feel I can help more than what I did today. I think if I did more training how would I be. I hadn’t touched the ball for a year and two months, then I touched the ball for three days and it seems it has never been a year.”
On the start of the season: “I wasn’t present for the first 6-7 months, I came for the matches. I made a choice to stay away and recover well, then I would have been fine to help. If I was close to the team, I would have had little patience to return, but with Milan I decided to make this recovery at a distance. Then when I came back I was present and my colleagues understood what they had to do.”
On Leao’s renewal: “I lowered my salary to give it to him. I’m already playing nearly for free (laughs).”
His love for Milan is so shown. Thank you Legend. Please retire here.
Even your end of sunset is still much better than Origi
Legend didn’t care about money a lot. He only starve for title