How Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s emotional homecoming inspired AC Milan to Serie A title?

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New Delhi: AC Milan has become the champion of Italy after more than a decade when they defeated Sassuolo in their last fixture of the Serie A on Sunday. After acquiring the highest number of points, Milan left city rivals Inter behind by 2 points and got their hands on the silverware, getting themselves back to glory. 

This is first time after 2011/2012, that Milan has been crowned the champion of Serie A. Everything changed for the Rossoneri in the last decade, from players to managers, even the owners. But one thing that brought the Milan’s DNA back into the sinking ship is the veteran footballer, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The Serie A-winning AC Milan is a team of young players, with an average age of 25 years but the presence of 40-year-old Ibrahimovic has inspired the dressing room beyond anyone’s imagination, apart from, may be, another club legend Paolo Maldini’s. 

Along with passion and aggression, Zlatan has passed on his experience to his teammates on the field. The well-travelled star definitely assumed the responsibility of a leader in the team and led it towards win from the front, as evident from his post-win dressing room speech. Milan’s jersey number 11 scored 8 goals in 23 games despite sitting out with an injury for almost half of the season, and that too at the age of 40. 

Zlatan passed his aggression for the win forward to the young lads that shaped the current AC Milan in similar form as it was in its peak more than a decade earlier.

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“When you are a group, you can achieve the things we’ve achieved,” said Zlatan in the post-win speech. “At the beginning of the campaign, no one believed in us, but with our principles, we became stronger…I am very proud of all of you,” added the veteran footballer. 

With the passage of time, Zlatan’s aggression and the hunger for win has only increased and it is evident when he is asking his teammates to “celebrate like champions”.

“It isn’t Milan that belongs to AC Milan, it is Italy that belongs to us,” concluded Zlatan turning the tables over.

first published:May 24, 2022, 2:41 p.m.



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