An emotional Sandro Tonali reflected on what Zlatan Ibrahimovic means to AC Milan, while he also spoke about the club’s future after a rollercoaster season.
Milan made sure they signed off the season in the right way with three goals and three points against Hellas Verona. Olivier Giroud got the opener from the penalty spot before Faraoni equalised, but a late brace from Rafael Leao sealed a win to finish the campaign.
In many ways it was a symbolic passing of the baton moment as Leao – fresh off a renewal until 2028 – led the Rossoneri to victory in the same way Ibrahimovic has so many times. The Swede said goodbye to the Milan fans with a ceremony at the end of the game, confirming his retirement.
Tonali was interviewed by DAZN after the game and he was first of all asked about Ibrahimovic’s farewell, given he was spotted in tears when the Swede made his speech.
“We found out yesterday and it’s not easy to prepare mentally, then there’s a match in between. After the match we let ourselves go. I saw a lot of people cry, they are images that I will look at because they have a certain effect. It was the hardest thing after the match, we weren’t ready,” he said (via MilanNews).
What did Ibra give you?
“A lot, a lot. In the moments with us, he gave you energy, strength, energy, but energy is the word that sums up all his training, the desire to win, he went crazy over a missed training session. It’s one of the things that will remain forever in everyone, special player.”
Are you ready to take on the obsession to win that a player like Zlatan has?
“I don’t think he would have made this choice if we weren’t ready for it. Ibra thinks for himself but also for us. He knows it was time to leave an important legacy. I’ll have the chance to talk to him later.”
Your season doesn’t end as you will go to the U21 European Championships…
“I imagine there’s a slight difference, but only in my mind. An idea born months ago. Over time we decided that the senior national team was the priority, then the road was changed in view of the Olympics.”
What does it take to win the Scudetto?
“We need everything we haven’t put on the field this year. I want to leave January and February aside and I’m talking about the rest, when we played like Milan. You always need to put in 1% more, we did it and we just have to do this.”