Zlatan Ibrahimovic

The one-year contract extension for Zlatan Ibrahimović is arguably the most-important of AC Milan’s summer, after the legendary striker’s successful six-month spell since returning in January after eight years away from Italy. The 38-year-old will now don his former number 11 shirt.

Zlatan has since written more history as he became the first player to score 50 Serie A goals for both Milan clubs, the oldest Milan Derby goalscorer, and oldest to score at least 10 goals (in only 18 league games).

Indeed, Zlatan gets better with age, scoring more goals in his 30s since his career began.

His mid-season arrival coincided with that of Stefano Pioli and Zlatan has spearheaded Milan on the pitch as the Rossoneri have enjoyed their most consistent run of form since winning the scudetto in 2011; when Ibrahimović last played for Milan. They went 13 games unbeaten after restart as they clinched Europa League qualification via a sixth-place finish domestically.

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This is a very exciting project for the veteran as he aims to wind down his career at the very top aged 40.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Ibrahimovic is enjoying his second spell at AC Milan. (AS.com)

His presence on and off the pitches of San Siro and Milanello has geed Milan’s talents in a truly remarkable moment in the club’s revival, after years of turmoil behind the scenes and inconsistency on the pitch.

The enigmatic Swede’s winning mentality definitely rubs off on the younger players in Pioli’s hard-working philosophy. Milan became an attacking force – as evidenced by 35 goals in 12 games after lockdown – thanks largely to Ibrahimović and his intricate understanding with Ante Rebić, the team enjoyed playing off the master who laid on five assists.

The Future is bright

Paolo Maldini has done some smart business this summer asides the Ibrahimović extension, they have strengthened impressively with the capture of free agent Pierre Kalulu from Lyon; a strong defender who will solidify the problematic right-back spot and centre-back options. 

Sandro Tonali, one of the brightest youngsters in Serie A last season, is about to complete his move from relegated Brescia while they progress on deals for Brahim Díaz, Tiemoue Bakayoko, and Serge Aurier.

With their fearless style of play and a bunch of hungry, talented players Ibrahimović can push Milan to a belated gatecrashing of Italy’s very best.

Of course, Pioli has proven a game-changer but Zlatan has been a key difference. Now he has to elevate his beloved Milan to the next level.

Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin
August 31, 2020
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Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.


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