Zlatan Ibrahimovic: I am more in demand aged 38 than I was 10 years ago

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: I am more in demand aged 38 than I was 10 years ago
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: I am more in demand aged 38 than I was 10 years ago

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Zlatan Ibrahimovic claimed at his official unveiling at AC Milan that he is more in demand at the age of 38 than he was 10 years ago.

The Swedish forward has rejoined the Italian club he left seven years ago for a six-month stint, with an option to extend his stay, but there are questions over how much impact he can have on the fallen giants who are languishing in 11th in Serie A.

In their last match, Milan produced a pitiful display as they were thumped 5-0 at Atalanta, their joint-heaviest Serie A defeat.

"I'm not here as a mascot to dance for the fans next to the Devil [Milan's mascot]," Ibrahimovic said.

"I'm looking for the last bit of adrenaline I might have. At my age, you're not looking for anything else but a challenge.

"When you're 38 and get hired by AC Milan it's something that doesn't happen very often, coming here means I still have something to give.

"At 38, I have received more offers than at 28. I am ready, I feel more than alive, I hope to play immediately."

Milan chief football officer Zvonimir Boban contacted the Swede after he left Los Angeles Galaxy in October and the calls intensified after the Atalanta drubbing.

Ibrahimovic helped AC Milan win their last major trophy, the Serie A title in 2010-11, before leaving to join Paris St Germain the following year in a move that he said on Friday was against his will.

"After Atalanta I got lots and lots of calls, it wasn't a difficult decision in the end," said Ibrahimovic. "The last time I left AC Milan, it was without my approval but the situation was what it was ... the important thing is that I am here now.

"Each year is different, physically you change with every year that goes by. But experience teaches you to do things differently, if you're an intelligent player you know what you can and cannot do ... instead of running, I can shoot from long distance.

He promised he would not go easy on his younger team mates. "I'm meaner than before," he said. "They know what I am like, how I train and play each match.

"You have to work hard. You have to know how to suffer, otherwise you don't reach your maximum potential. Not everyone likes to suffer but I do ... and I expect a lot from my team mates."

Boban, though, warned that the club would not just be counting on Ibrahimovic. "We can't forget the horrible and unacceptable defeat at Bergamo, but we must not hide behind the broad shoulders of Zlatan Ibrahimovic," he said.

"We hope the course of the season will change and are optimistic about the effect he will have on the team and the environment but we need results."

Milan's next match is at home to Sampdoria in Serie A on Monday although there was no mention of whether Ibrahimovic, who has not played since October, would make his debut that quickly.

Updated: January 3, 2020 04:38 PM

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