Ibrahimovic discusses ‘small injury’ and media war with LeBron during Sanremo press conference

By Oliver Fisher -

Zlatan Ibrahimovic spoke at a press conference to mark the opening of the annual Sanremo Festival in Italy, discussing a number of topics.

Ibra spoke at the press conference on his debut day in Sanremo, with his comments transcribed by MilanNews, starting with how he came to be part of the festival.

“When Amadeus called me I didn’t say no, I said yes. What awaits me? Amadeus told me not to worry and to be calm, I have to be myself.”

On his participation in Sanremo: “Sure it’s easier to score, I’m in good hands with Amadeus and Fiorello. I don’t know what awaits me, but I’m not worried, if I’m wrong no one can judge me, and if I do well even better, so I’ll have other work when I stop. I’m excited, I don’t know what awaits me. But sure we have fun.”

The Swede came off with a muscle problem during Sunday night’s crucial 2-1 win over Roma, and the diagnosis is not great news as he is apparently set to miss at least four games.

On the injury: “The program is always the same, I was unlucky, I had a small injury, but I can do everything. The Festival program does not change, I am always available for Amadeus.”

On the controversy with LeBron: “Racism and politics are two different things. We athletes unite the world, politics divides the world. Everyone is welcome, it has nothing to do with where you come from, we do what we do to bring them together. We don’t do other things because we are not good, otherwise I would be in politics. This is my message. Athletes must be athletes, politicians must be politicians.”

On the controversy: “I don’t think so much, those who know me know that I am a professional and I don’t have to say that I finish first or last. They have to see me as an example. When I play my football I am very focused on this thing, my goal with Milan is to help.

“I want to give so much to Italy for what it has given me, for so many years, and not just in football. I got the opportunity to do the Sanremo Festival and they told me that it is the most important thing that there is in Italy, and so I’ll do it.”

On the records: “There is a reason why Amadeus called me: because he wants to break all the records, and I introduce myself.”

On Lukaku being at Sanremo: “I welcome him. There is no personal problem, what you do on the pitch stays on the pitch. If he wants to come, he is welcome.”

On the welcome of Amadeus and Fiorello, two Inter fans: “Without an AC Milan player there is no derby. They repeat that they are Inter fans every five minutes and say they are first in the standings, but for the first six months I have not heard anything.

On the song with Mihajlovic: “I’ll show up on stage, I don’t know how it will go. Let’s hope Mihajlovic doesn’t know how to sing, so we’re on the same level.”

On the program: “I take one day at a time, in my opinion is the best thing. Tonight we do something. I can dance, but I dance better on the pitch. Let’s see what happens. I don’t want to have plans, I have to be Zlatan.”

On his family: “I don’t know if they will watch Sanremo, but I think so. I don’t know how well they know the Festival. We have the same thing in Sweden, which is very important.”

On if he is an example: “I’m doing my thing in the best way to send the message that anything is possible to be successful everywhere. I hope I’m doing a good job being an example, but I also hope to be myself: we are wrong, it’s normal, but that’s how you learn.”

On music: “My playlist is a mix, it depends on the mood I’m in. It’s a mix of Italian, Swedish, pop, house music…”

On his fears: “Not afraid, a little nervous but I’m not afraid. I believe more in destiny, fear holds me back. I have two children, a big family and the only thing I ask is that everyone is well.”

On Berlusconi: “In my opinion he gave me the ok to come to Sanremo, I’m sure. I have a good relationship with him, I love him, even if he sent me to Paris without my permission.”

On money: “Money is not important, things have value. If I do something it is because I want to do it, I do it with my heart because I want to thank Italy for what it has done with me.”

On a future in the world of cinema: “When I was in Los Angeles I ran away and signed for Milan, but I’m very curious because it’s another world. You feel a bit like an actor, it’s a world I want to enter and try to break through like in the world of football.”

Amadeus – the organiser of the festival and a life-long Inter fan – spoke about the honour of having the Swede as part of the event.

“I am honoured by the presence of Ibrahimovic, he is a champion. The champions belong to everyone. He is in great shape, he is a player who is always better to have with than against. We will meet the man Ibrahimovic, that the Italian public does not know.”

Tags AC Milan Zlatan Ibrahimovic