Thursday, September 29, 2022

Ibrahimovic will not retire until he sees a player ´stronger´ than him

SoccerNews in Serie A 14 Sep 2022

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic still has no concrete plans to retire despite his latest injury woes, claiming he will only stop once he has seen a player who is “stronger than me”.

Ibrahimovic will turn 41 in early October and is into his third full season at Milan, having joined from LA Galaxy in December 2019.

Injuries have been a regular source of frustration for the Swede since his return to Milan, though he still has a fine goalscoring record of 33 in 60 Serie A appearances during his second spell at the club.

Ibrahimovic is not expected to play again this year after having surgery on an anterior cruciate ligament injury in May, an injury that at the time seemed likely to end his career.

But it appears the enigmatic striker is determined to go out on his own terms, dismissing recent comments from former Milan player and executive Zvonimir Boban, who said it was “not right” for Ibrahimovic to keep playing.

Asked about Boban’s opinion, Ibrahimovic told Gazzetta dello Sport: “If I see a player stronger than me, I’ll stop. But I haven’t seen him yet.

“I am arrogant, [I have] zero fear. I’m fine, I work every day to come back. When I come back, I’ll be heard, you can count on it.

“I’ll [return] with violence. It takes patience – this is the key now.”

Ibrahimovic helped Milan to Scudetto success before his injury, with that being the Rossoneri’s first league title since 2011, during his first spell.

Milan have enjoyed a decent start to their title defence, with Napoli and Atalanta only sitting above them in the table after six games by virtue of a better goal difference.

When Ibrahimovic does return to the pitch, he believes he will be coming into a team that is even better than the one that won the title, appearing particularly excited about Charles de Ketelaere.

“De Ketelaere is top, I say so. You just have to give him some time to grow,” he continued.

“We are even stronger than last year as a group. Overall, we are a better team, the market in the summer after the Scudetto strengthened us and now we have more alternatives on the bench.

“If I hadn’t liked it [the transfer business], I wouldn’t have been here.”

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