AC Milan will not have Olivier Giroud for Saturday’s game against Udinese at the Dacia Arena and it could be up to Zlatan Ibrahimovic to lead the line from minute one.
La Gazzetta dello Sport report how Ibrahimovic has been called up by Sweden coach Janne Andersson for their matches against Belgium and Azerbaijan later this month which count towards qualification for the next European Championships.
Despite being 41 years and 5 months old the feeling is still that Zlatan is a leader for his club and country, ready to give emotional support to young players and other team-mates that recognise he has the mentality of a champion.
Against Atalanta, Ibrahimovic returned to the field after 280 days out and the penultimate goal scored by the Swede dates back to 11 December 2021, in Serie A against Udinese. It was a bicycle kick that was needed to snatch a point right at the end, and for many it was deja vu given he had scored the winner on 1 November 2020 with seven minutes left.
One year and 4 months after that goal – but also fourteen months after his last as a starter for the Rossoneri – Ibrahimovic could be back in the XI. He played 16 minutes against La Dea, 24 against Fiorentina and 28 against Salernitana.
Zlatan has never lost against Udinese (8 wins and 6 draws in 14 games) and with his next goal he will become the oldest scorer in Serie A history, surpassing Costacurta.