Zlatan Ibrahiuovic, the football icon who announced his retirement just a few short months ago, is now closing in on AC Milan.
The legendary Swedish goalscorer is expected to make a return to the Serie A team in a role other than playing, as the Rossoneri try to keep pace with league leader Inter Milan.
We examine why Zlatan’s return to the European giants can only be good.
Success is at hand
Ibrahimovic has won over 30 major football trophies in his long career.
Milan won two of his titles, including the Serie A championship in 2022.
Stefano Pioli can benefit from the 42-year old’s knowledge and expertise.
San Siro has won seven Champions League and 19 League titles but not achieved success in Europe since 2007.
After losing to his local rivals during the last semi-finals, Ibrahimovic could help Milan win the trophy that eluded him throughout his career.
Seal of Approval
Zlatan remains silent about his future, despite reports that Zlatan is returning soon.
When questioned by reporters at this weekend’s Formula 1 Grand Prix in Las Vegas, the Swede admitted that talks between him and CEO Giorgio Furlani were progressing. However, he did not reveal anything when asked.
He replied: “Milan?” Let’s see, let’s see… let’s talk, let’s talk.
There are discussions with him (Furlani). “I won’t give a technical answer because I’m not sure how to provide an exact time or role.”
It can be a great pleasure for me, as my role is and as a Milan supporter, to work with Ibrahimovic again.
The departure of Paolo Maldini from his role as a consultant has left the club with no figure who can connect management to players.
Zlatan visited the team ahead of the Champions League match with Newcastle, in September. He would be a good fit for a role where he can make recommendations that are in the best interests of the club.
In the years before his retirement, when he was injured and unable to play football for a year, he acted as a coach.
The ex-Barcelona forward and Paris Saint-Germain striker could finally be a fresh face in the media. He has charmed TV and journalists for many years with bold statements and claims.
Zlatan said to his fans on the night before he retired, “I hope you are lucky, and I’ll be around.”
Milan could be in for a lucky turn as the crucial part of this season approaches.
Ibrahimovic, who has scored over 570 goals in his career, is known around the globe as an imposing striker capable of destroying any defense he faced.
Rafael Leao, the Milanese star Rafael Leao who has 122 caps in his career, says that his constant high standards is what makes him successful.
On the podcast he stated: “When playing well, Zlatan [the footballer] would not speak to me. The only time I was ever spoken to by Zlatan was when I had played poorly.
He was very focused on details, and he didn’t like to dribble.
Rafa would sometimes tell me to “control it this way and take it straight towards the goal”. You can’t possibly make a mistake with your skill and a touch that is like that.
Zlatan’s return could tip the balance in Milan’s favor. The Rossoneri are currently eight points behind Inter.