03 January 2020
#IZBACK, the official presentation: "We need to work hard and well. We need to know how to suffer"
Zlatan Ibrahimović: the official presentation. After the great excitement of his announcement and the even greater anticipation of his arrival, the Swedish champion and the Rossoneri’s latest signing spoke in his presentation press conference at Casa Milan. The big event, broadcast live on the AC Milan Official App as well as on Milan TV, was also attended by Zvonimir Boban, Paolo Maldini and Frederic Massara. Here is what Ibra had to say:
“Paolo Maldini called me after my final game in Los Angeles. I received more offers at 38 than when I was 20... I’ve been looking for one final rush of adrenaline to give it my all. I received even more calls after the game against Atalanta, I spoke to Boban a lot. It wasn’t a difficult decision to make. When I first left AC Milan I didn’t want to go, it was a corporate decision. What’s important is that I’m here and I want to improve things as much as possible. I have a great desire for AC Milan, I respect and love this Club. You can’t change history: AC Milan will always be AC Milan. There was a chance to come back here before, Leonardo gave me a call, but I still didn’t feel ready after my injury and I wanted to continue playing in Los Angeles because I was doing well. I went to America to feel alive. After two seasons in the MLS I feel more than alive: I feel ready for AC Milan.”
“I’ve got a wonderful relationship with the fans, it’s really positive. I can feel their excitement, just as much now as the first time. It’s important to have their support. I’m ready and I hope that I can even play in the friendly at Milanello today. I’ve missed having my foot on the ball but I don’t even need it that much. I didn’t come here to be a Rossoneri mascot. I know what I have to do, Zlatan is still here. The duel with Cristiano Ronaldo will be exciting.”
“You have to work hard and well. You have to believe in your work in order to do your best on the pitch. You have to suffer: those who don’t know how to suffer can’t be the best. I’ll get meaner and meaner. I expect a lot from my teammates too. I’ve only seen Milan’s results from afar, but I don’t know what hasn’t been working so far. This is a challenge with myself: I’m always positive and I always give 200% in whatever I do. I’ve never lost my passion. Let’s see how these six months go, if I’ve given something and I’m able to give something more then I’ll stick with the Rossoneri. I won’t want to stay just because I’m Zlatan Ibrahimović, I’m not interested in that. I’m 38 years old, I know what I have to do on the pitch, even if both the style of play and the game change.”
“The pressure is always extremely high at Milan, everyone demands results. We can and must do more, because we are AC Milan. I want to help and improve the situation, I want to have fun on the pitch and to feel good physically. I was out injured for a year, but with the right spirit and the right mentality I’ve shown that I’m able to return to high levels. At 38 years old there’s no need to exaggerate when you’re playing, instead of running you can shoot from 40 yards...”
“I met with the Coach yesterday but we didn’t talk too much, he explained something even though I was mainly just taking tests. I need to get to know the team well, I don’t know if there will be teammates like Nocerino again. I’ll wait for the Coach’s decisions and then I’ll try to help everyone on the pitch.”
“The derbies are always special, I won with both Milan and Inter. I’ve played in lots of local derbies over my career but the Milan one is the most special. We’ll see how the next one goes but for now, I’m thinking about the friendly today and then Sampdoria in the league.”
At the press conference to officially present Zlatan Ibrahimović, these were the comments from Chief Football Officer Zvonimir Boban:
“We’re happy to welcome back a unique player like Ibra. We’re very positive about the effect that he’ll be able to have on the team and the atmosphere and it’s clear that results will be needed. I wouldn’t want to forget about the Bergamo match which was an unacceptable defeat. We shouldn’t hide behind Zlatan’s broad shoulders. We need to change the direction of this season and we hope that his presence will help us. Forza Milan.”
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