Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a champion according to the coach of AC Milan, Stefano Pioli who can not stop being surprised that the 39-year-old Swedish veteran is still at the top of his game.
On Monday, January 18, the former Sweden international was in action for AC Milan in Serie A league match against Cagliari. Zlatan Ibrahimovic led 10-man AC Milan to win over Cagliari 2-0. The win kept AC Milan at the top of the league table with three points above second-placed Inter Milan.
Before AC Milan’s Alexis Saelemaekers was sent off from the match in the 74th minute, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has already sealed the victory for Milan. The Swedish football icon kicked off his goalscoring exploits in the 7th minute from the spot-kick.
The 39-year-old former Manchester United and Barcelona striker doubled AC Milan’s lead in the 52nd minute of the game from an open play. With his second goal in the match, Zlatan has taken his goals tally this season to 12, three behind the league’s top scorer Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo.
The stunning aspect of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s goalscoring form is that he scored his 12 league goals this season in just 8 league games. Recall that he didn’t play in AC Milan’s last two games before the club met with Cagliari due to the knock he suffered in AC Milan’s league match against Juventus on January 6.
Another 3 important points 👊— AC Milan (@acmilan) January 18, 2021
Altri 3 punti importanti 👊#CagliariMilan #SempreMilan@emirates pic.twitter.com/t3L5k36ttD
In the two games he missed due to the minor injury, AC Milan were able to win one in regular time and the other which was a Coppa Italia round of 16 game, through a penalty shootout.
Besides the fact that Zlatan has proven to be an unstoppable goals machine at 39-year-old, he has also proven to be a team player this season as he has provided two assists and scored 13 goals in 13 appearances in all competitions.
“He is a champion in everything he does”, AC Milan’s coach Stefano Pioli said. “With his comeback, we have other tactical possibilities and we are very happy to have him.
“He still manages to surprise me, even though I know him well by now. We must expect the best from him, but today he also did something beyond that.”
With the influence of Zlatan, AC Milan have recorded 13 wins, 4 draws, and just a defeat in 18 league games. They are on the verge of winning their first Serie A title in a decade.
The club is on the verge of completing the signing of another veteran striker Mario Mandzukic this January. The 34-year-old former Juventus and Croatian striker is without a club since he left Al-Duhail SC in January 2020. He is expected to join AC Milan any moment from now to compete with Ibrahimovic.
In his reaction to the potential signing of the Croatian, Ibrahimovic said he is “very happy” for the move, noting that there would be two strikers at AC Milan “to scare the opponents now!”.
“So far we are doing well. We are almost halfway through the league and now the games are starting to be more difficult”, the Swedish striker added.
“It will be a very tough season, but now with Mandzukic and Meite, and I don’t know if others will arrive, we will have more players available for the coach that can rotate in.”