Zlatan Ibrahimovic seemed destined to leave Milan at the end of last season, with Ralf Rangnick coming in as the new manager. Then the Rossoneri decided to keep Stefano Pioli, and so the conditions changed for the Swede.
However, it wasn’t that easy for Milan to convince him. In the long interview with Sky Italia (via MilanNews), which aired last night, the 39-year-old revealed that he initially turned down the Rossoneri’s renewal offer.
For Milan, it was certainly positive that he decided to stay in the end. In just six league games this season, Ibrahimovic has bagged ten goals, which is extraordinary for a player of his age. Then again, Zlatan has never been like anyone else.
“Pioli asked me what I wanted to do. I told him ‘Enough, I won’t continue’. I was worried about the sacrifices and I thought about the family that is in Sweden. If I do another year like these six months, no. Pioli told me ‘I respect you’. The next day he called me back: ‘It’s not that simple. Yesterday I left you too easily. If you don’t stay here it will be another thing’.
“I told him ‘Mister, I’ve decided’. After that, I went on vacation. The contract was not important, at this age it’s useless. I just need respect and values. The challenge, however, was beautiful and difficult. But I also came to think that I didn’t want to have regrets. So I called Mino and told him ‘Close everything, let’s go on’. But at the beginning, I said no, that next year I would not stay,” he stated.
The Swede is currently injured and will thus miss the clash against Sampdoria tomorrow, which is another chance for Milan to extend their lead at the top. Anything other than a win would be disappointing, to say the least.