Rui Costa backs Ibrahimovic to succeed at Milan; Cassano criticises quality of squad

By Oliver Fisher -

Former AC Milan playmaker Rui Costa has tipped Zlatan Ibrahimovic to make a big impact upon return to his old club.

The Rossoneri announced that Zlatan would be returning via a statement on their official website, with the Swede having put pen to paper on a deal which will run until the end of the season, while there is the option for another year extension.

The 38-year-old amassed 85 appearances and 56 goals in his first spell at the club from 2010-2012, helping to win the Scudetto and the Supercoppa Italiana in the process.

In a career which has seen him play for Ajax, Juventus, Internazionale, Barcelona, ​​Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and the LA Galaxy, this represents the first time he has gone back to an old club – and Rui Costa believes it will not be a mistake.

“Form is temporary, quality is permanent,” he told Sky Italia (via

“I am sure he will do well, age isn’t all that important when you are in good physical shape. Look at Ronaldo for example.”

One of Ibrahimovic’s former team-mates Antonio Cassano also spoke about the return of the striker, insisting that the vast majority of his new team-mates should not be at Milan.

“I expected this return, as I always said that if he came back to Italy, it would be for Milan,” Cassano told Sky Italia (via Football Italia).

“He is very fond of the city and this club. After Ronaldo and Marco van Basten, I’d say Ibrahimovic is the best number 9 of the last 30 years. He’s still phenomenal, despite his age.

“Zlatan makes his teammates give 110 per cent and can still make the difference in Serie A. He’ll have to, because 80-85 per cent of the current squad do not deserve to be at Milan.

“I am sure Ibra will get the best out of them, because if they don’t give 100 per cent in every training session, he raises his voice. When he does that, you’d better be scared.

“I also have faith in Paolo Maldini and Zvonimir Boban, they deserve more patience. They’ve got Ibra now, there is talk of Jean-Clair Todibo from Barcelona, so I think Milan can get back to the top in two-three years.”

Tags AC Milan Rui Costa Zlatan Ibrahimovic